Two families from Mumbai got the worst possible news on Saturday when they were told that their young sons were among three people killed in a plane crash in Canada a day earlier.
The two trainee pilots were in a small twin-engined light aircraft – a Piper PA-34 Seneca – which crashed near the local airport in Chilliwack, close to Vancouver, in British Columbia.
The pilots who have been killed are 25-year-old Abhay Gadru from Vasai and Yash Vijay Ramugade from Santacruz.
Abhay used to stay in Krishna Vandan Society in the Evershine area before he moved to Canada for his pilot training. His neighbour, Vaibhav Goyal, said everyone in the neighbourhood has very fond memories of Abhay and the news of his death has plunged the entire society into mourning.
“We got a call at 5 am on Saturday and could not believe that something like this had happened to Abhay. His brother, Chirag, has also been studying in Canada since last year. Authorities in Canada have not let Chirag see Abhay’s body yet, and he has been told that he will be given Abhay’s belongings on Sunday,” Mr Goyal said.
The neighbour said he had spoken to Chirag over the phone. “He is very worried and is trying to get in touch with the consulate so that Abhay’s body can be brought back home. Their parents are currently visiting some relatives in Delhi,” he said.
Mr Goyal said Abhay was like a brother to him and all doors in the neighbourhood were always open for him. “I never thought of him as anything but a brother,” he added.