Some residents of Thane are struggling to come to terms with the death of four members of a family – an estranged couple and their two children – whose yearly vacation in picturesque Nepal was tragically cut short when the plane carrying them crashed into a mountain.
Businessman Ashok Kumar Tripathi and his Thane-based estranged wife Vaibhavi Bandekar Tripathi were on a reunion trip to the Himalayan country along with their kids, son Dhanush, 22, and daughter Ritika, 15, when tragedy struck on Sunday.
Ashok Tripathi, 54, who ran a company in Odisha, and Vaibhavi Tripathi, 51, who worked in a financial firm in Mumbai, had separated following court orders, an official from the Kapurbawdi police station in Thane said on Monday.
As per court orders, the family was to be together for 10 days in a year and this year they had planned a trip to Nepal. Their plane, belonging to Tara Air, went missing on Sunday morning in the mountainous region of Nepal minutes after taking off from the tourist city of Pokhara.
Besides the four Indian nationals, the plane was carrying two Germans and 13 Nepal passengers, along with a three-member Nepal crew. Rescuers have so far pulled out 20 bodies from the wreckage of the crashed plane and located one more.
Unlike on Sunday, there was hardly any movement around the Rustomjee Athena housing society in Thane city’s Balkum area, where Vaibhavi Bandekar Tripathi lived with her children.
Residents of the housing society declined to meet reporters as the tragedy has left them shocked.
Vaibhavi Tripathi held a top position at a private financial firm in Mumbai and had recently taken leave to go on a vacation with her family members. According to sources in her office, she was No. 2 in the company, which operates out of BKC, a business district in suburban Mumbai.
An employee said they came to know about the crash on Monday morning and everybody was in shock.
Vaibhavi Tripathi’s 80-year-old mother, who is in poor health, is the only person left at the family’s home in Thane and she has not been informed about the tragedy. A Mumbai police officer said they are waiting for the arrival of a man who has taken her flat in Borivli, a western suburb, on rent and is currently out of town.
Other members of the family are waiting for the bodies to arrive in Thane from Kathmandu.