‘Will Call Once I Land’: Ethiopia Plane Crash Victim’s Last Text

“Boarded the flight, will call once I land,” was the last text Shikha, a victim in the crash, sent to her husband.

2 min read
The father said that she was changing her flight and had called him a few minutes after 10 am. She was to return on 15 March.

Shikha Garg, a UN consultant attached to the Environment Ministry of the government of India, was one among the 157 people killed in an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Sunday, 10 March.

‘I’ll Call After Landing’ – The Call That Never Came

“I’ve boarded the flight and will call you once I land,” was the last text Shikha sent to her husband, according to The Times of India report.

“Your wife’s plane has crashed,” read a text that Shikha’s husband got about 15 minutes after her text. They had gotten married only three months ago.

In another Hindustan Times report, she made a call to her father, around the same time, little before the take-off.

The father told HT that she was changing her flight and had called him a few minutes after 10 am. She was to return on 15 March.

“My daughter was a brilliant student and had worked in the private sector before joining the Indian Meteorological Department. Later, she joined the MoEF. The MEA got in touch with us and said they would contact us. After our conversation in the evening, we are still waiting for their call. We are still in the dark and are depending on news channels.”
Satish Garg, father, told HT

Was Working With UNDP Since 2013

A graduate from Delhi University’s Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, Garg had married her colleague Soumya and lived with her family in Paschim Vihar in the national capital.

Her husband also works for the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. They had got married on 14 December.

Shikha had earlier worked with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) as a Senior Research Fellow, after doing her master’s in Natural Resource Management from TERI School of Advanced Studies in Vasant Kunj, her LinkedIn profile suggests.

She was the second oldest of her three sisters and had studied in a private school in Rohini, according to the HT report.

After that, she worked as a research analyst at the Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe).

Shikha had been associated with the UNDP for 5 years and 7 months. She had been working with them since 2013.

Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crashed nearly six minutes after it took off from Addis Ababa on Sunday, 10 March, killing all 157 passengers and 8 crew members on board. Of the 157 passengers, four were Indians.

One of the two black boxes on the crashed flight was recovered by investigators on Monday, 11 March.

People from 32 countries were on board the flight that crashed into a field just 60 kilometres off Addis Ababa.

According to the airlines, the flight had taken off at 8:38 am and was scheduled to land in Nairobi at 10:25 am. It lost contact 6 minutes after take-off.

The Ethiopian Airlines said on Monday, 11 March, it has grounded its Boeing 737 MAX fleet after the crash.

(With inputs from The Times of India and Hindustan Times.)

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