Johannesburg, South Africa: A South African man is among the passengers on stricken Air India flight MUM841 after he boarded the wrong plane at Cape Town International Airport this morning.

Dave Luis was due to land in Johannesburg at 08:05 this morning on Mango Airlines flight JE134, but boarded an Air India flight bound for Mumbai instead.

An Airports Company South Africa representative says officials are still investigating how a passenger that checked in for a domestic flight managed to board an international flight despite rigorous access controls prohibiting passengers from moving beyond their designated boarding areas.

Shortly after the flight passed over Johannesburg airspace Captain Jaiwala Khan radioed air traffic control informing them of a passenger incident, after Mr. Luis reportedly became panicked after being informed by cabin crew of the flight’s ultimate destination.

In another digression from standard procedure, the Air India flight continued on to Mumbai, instead of returning to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to insist the passenger disembark. As Mr. Luis was not carrying an Indian visa, it is assumed he would be returned to South Africa once the plane had touched down in Mumbai.

Air India flight MUM841, carrying 436 passengers and crew, was reported missing after ground control lost contact with the flight over the Indian Ocean. The last reported signal was received at 09:35 local time by air control on Réunion Island.

Wreckage and bodies have been spotted floating in the Indian Ocean some 480 kilometres from Réunion Island. Clear markings confirm the wreckage as pieces of the Boeing 747-400 fuselage from flight MUM841. Recovery crews from South Africa and India have been dispatched to the area.

In a frightening premonition of the incident, Mr. Luis tweeted shortly before take off that he had mistakenly taken another passenger’s seat, as it was too early in the morning to read seat numbers and that he hoped he was on the correct flight.

Eagle-eyed tweeters have also picked up that the photograph taken by Mr. Luis shows Mango airlines insignia, indicating that Mr. Luis had initially boarded the correct flight. It is not known at this point how he managed to disembark and board the Air India flight.

Our thoughts and condolences to friends and family of the passengers and crew of flight MUM841.

 

Dave Luis' final tweets shortly before take-off
Dave Luis’ final tweets shortly before take-off

BBC World Service 2015.

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© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.

‘Mumbai’ is a creative writing exercise and the fourth installment in the third series of tandem blogs written by nine bloggers. Please click on Megan, Brett, Kerry, Catherine, Sarah, Scott, Nick and  James‘ names to link to their blogs and read what they have written on the topic of ‘Mumbai’. 

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16 thoughts on “Mumbai

  1. I was laughing, as this was so typical of you. SO possible.

    And then you whipped my breath right out of my lungs, you fucking great storyteller. X

    1. Hahah! Thanks Cath! I wrote this on the plane yesterday morning – then questioned the logic of writing a post about a plane crash while on a plane…

    1. Thanks Brett – I had no idea what to write this week, until I was on the plane yesterday, and sat in someone’s seat…then the blog revealed itself to me.

  2. OM! Your creativity continues to amaze me Dave. So realistic, my condolences to families of all passengers … one wonders now if they followed correct aviation protocols and returned Mr. Luis to SA when they realised that he was on the wrong flight, if this tragedy would still have occured. Too late for what if’s thought. You completely drew me in 🙂

  3. Dave, I will be charging you for my next hair colouring as I went grey with this. As Cath said, you whipped the breath right out of my lungs. I know know what it is like to have a heart attack. You basterd.

  4. SO something I would do. 😳 Lol. Also V happy you pointed out it was a creative writing exercise on FB before I read it.

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