As soon as the last Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Brussels reached its destination, a series of blasts at the Zaventem Airport injured two of its crew members, both from Mumbai.
Amit Motwani, Nidhi Chaphekar
The injured — identified as Nidhi Chaphekar and Amit Motwani — were rushed to nearby hospitals and declared ‘out of danger’.
Motwani, who is a Khar resident and an MMK College alumnus, fractured his ankle and temporarily lost vision but still posted on Facebook that he was safe. Sources said he had joined the airline in 2005 and co-incidentally, was part of the first direct flight on this route, too.
An airline official said, “This was the last direct flight from Mumbai to Brussels by Jet Airways as the airline is now announcing a flight through Amsterdam.”
Chaphekar (40), who has been working with Jet Airways for the past 15 years, resides in Andheri East’s JB Nagar in a joint family of nine with her husband, two children, her brother-in-law’s family and her mother-in-law.
Nilesh Chaphekar, Nidhi’s brother-in-law, said, “We are all tense since we came to know about the incident. Though the airline is in touch with her, but we do not know which hospital she is in and how her condition is now.” Sources said the airline wasn’t aware which hospital Nidhi had been taken to for treatment.
Till the time of going to press, mid-day had learnt that Nidhi was admitted to Stuinberg Hospital’s ICU but was stable. “Two Jet Airways staff members have sustained injuries in the explosion at Brussels airport. Both of them are receiving medical care at hospitals,” said spokesperson of Jet Airways.
Jet Airways Statement
Jet Airways crew who were injured in the event at Brussels airport yesterday (March 22) are safe in hospitals. Our staff in Brussels is co-ordinating with the local authorities and hospitals to ensure that all the required medical care is provided to them.
We have made arrangements for family members of the injured crew to travel to Brussels.
Jet Airways continues to closely monitor the situation in Brussels. The airline’s Emergency Response Centre in Mumbai and the Local Incident Control Centre in Brussels are working round the clock to provide all possible support to our staff and guests. Jet Airways has also deployed its teams from India and Continental Europe to help in the co-ordination efforts.
Following the Brussels incident, around 20 hoax calls were made to various airports like Mumbai, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Dehradun and also the Mumbai police control room on Tuesday. The caller from number flashing 301, claiming to be one Smith from America, spoke for around 36 minutes warned there were people on board with explosives in their handsets.
The call was made to the control room at T2, which kept the airport authorities on their toes throughout the day. As a result of this all, the mentioned flights were frisked and hence delayed. The officials say that the caller will be difficult to trace since he made Internet calls. “He, however, seemed to research the correct flight numbers and kept revealing the flight numbers right according to their standard time of departure. Due to Brussels explosions, none of them could be taken lightly and all the security agencies at Mumbai airport were on their toes throughout the day," informed a senior airport official.