Great & Fatal Air disasters and Tanisha:A Story by Syed Mohd. Saleh Uddin

Great & Fatal Air disasters and Tanisha

Syed Mohd. Saleh Uddin

Based on Aviation History

Tanisha always remembers Mathanda , a beautiful Indonesian girl. There were also many Malaysian girls in her school. Rest of the students are from the inhabitants of Singapore and Indian immigrants. While Tanisha was in Singapore all of them were her playmates there. They played together. Now Tanisha is at Daffodil International School in Uttara, Dhaka. She can’t forget them. Especially Mathanda was her bosom friend. Now and again Tanisha says Mathanda is my best friend.

On April 05, 2014 at about 0830 Tanisha’s father flew for Singapore again. Tanisha remembered her Singapore life. Then she was mere a child. The memory of Li Tho o and Yuan is still fresh in her mind. They were Chinese boys. Yuan is Ryan to Tanisha. They shared riding, game swinging horse. They each used to push the horse from the back in their turn. Ryan became superman and Tanisha fired the superman by water gun etc. Thus their school period was over. They were good friends though they could not talk with Tanisha and Tanisha could not talk with them. Chinese and Bengali were Greek to each other.

By the time Tanisha’s father’s aircraft took off. At home Tanisha was gloomy. She came to her Nana Bhai (maternal grandfather). In her hand there was a small card. At the end words From Mathanda’ mother was visible. In the body following lines were clearly written in English: “No matter how far we are. Hope our friendship will always stay in mind. Wish you all the best in future.” To Tanisha it is a token of love from Mathanda. So, she shows it to all her nearer and dearer and strangers at home.

Last evening on the occasion of her father departure to Singapore and to see Maria her Khalamoni (aunt) and her father ( Nana Bhai) came. They presented her a book named ‘Thakurmar Jhuli” (Stories from the Grandma). It was developed by Dakhina Ranjan Mitra Majumder a famous story writer in old Bengali dialect. Tanisha is an English medium student, so it is bit hard for her to understand. She requested her Nana Bhai to read from the book a story named Maya Pahar and make her understand. He started Maya Pahar is an Illusion hill where unbelievable incidents occurs. …….Tanisha did not like this story. Nana it is a hard story, “please tell me an interesting story.” Then listen, Nana Bhai said,” there is a place named Bermuda Triangle. Once a merchant liners reached there. It was in its regular course. The sea was calm. Nothing doubtful was there. But, suddenly the big ship disappeared from the sea. There were many searches by the latest various contemporary technologies. But there was no trace of the ship in the area. Later many other such illusions were occurred. Many ships were gone out of sight. At about same period, an aircraft was moving around the area but that also disappeared. Later also happened such. After many unsuccessful rescue searches the entire above are left to mystery. Story writers came forward to make stories.

In many stories, these were acts of the aliens. They live far away from our galaxy. They were very powerful. They fly to this earth in very short period. They used to come here with many big and small unidentified flying objects. Those liners and the aircrafts were hijacked by them. Their big galaxy crafts carried them there, where their scientists researched with what were in them. In doubt Tanisha looked at her Nana Bhai. She thought that these were mere stories.

Tanisha heard about Malaysia airline flight carrying 239 people including crews lost in the sea. It was March 08,2014.The flight MH-370 left Kuala lumpur International Airport at 00.41 and was expected to land in Beijing at 0630 local time (22:30 GMT). Despite local news reports, Vietnamese and Malaysian rescue crews have not located the plane’s signals, but Hanoi believes the crafts disappeared in Vietnamese airspace. She also came to know except crews out of 227 passengers 153 were Chinese, 38 were Malaysian, 7 were Indonesian, 7 were Australian, 5 were Indian, 4 were American, one was Russian among others. Tanisha remembered her Malaysian and Chinese friends. Till the day of her father flight rescue workers of various countries searched a long area. But no trace of even a piece of debris was there. Even from the black box or the flight data recorder they fail to trace any emit of signal. She was thinking, then where is the so big aircraft? Is it the act of aliens?

There were many other possibilities. In 1988 a United States Navy guided missile cruiser shot down the Iranian civil passenger aircraft “Iran Air Flight 655”. All the 290 passengers on board, including 66 children and 16 crews died. Such possibility does not exist now in Indian Ocean. USA is a good friend of Malaysia. Other countries around are friendly with Malaysia. Besides it is peace time. Why any Navy will shot at it? By the by if any Navy or terrorist group destroy it then where it wrecks will go? She was tired of thinking. She was thinking about his father’s landing in Chengi airport of Singapore. Her eyes were filling in drowsiness. She was observing some big black unknown objects are over the Indian Ocean. In her astonishment she saw they were moving very fast. She felt many such objects covered the sky over her. Few of them are big rest others are small. Suddenly she discovered inside a big cloud something like a big aircraft is also moving. Is it that lost Malaysian aircraft? All the unknown objects disappeared with the aircraft, as if blitz like disappearance of attacking aircrafts. Tanisha thought the aircraft is hijacked by the aliens and they are taking that to their own country which is in a distant planet of some other solar system. Tanisha frightened, what would be fate of the on board people of the earth there!

Tanisha’s drowsiness flew away. She heard someone saying her father landed in Singapore safe and sound. Thanks to almighty Allah. Now she is thinking about the passengers and crews of the ill fated missing aircraft. What she felt in her drowsiness, now she knows is the act of her subconscious mind. This is the secret of all of the dreams. Fact is that it is destroyed somewhere. But how was that happened? She heard many guessing from the people what they learned from the Daily News Paper. In the western News about two Iranians or hijackers from other passengers were probable suspects. Others discussed about captain and other crews. However, till date it is undiscovered fact. On 15 April also rescue teams sent an unmanned submarine under hundred of lees deep to search the craft. Next day also it went down.

About complex accidents like air crash Tanisha does not want to think. Its result sometime is very pathetic. Ferocious Fire covers the aircraft very quickly. Soon it burns everything just like a powerful pyre. Living beings became slugs of ashes. It is a matter of grief to her. Tanisha expressed she does not like to die. But she also expressed no way to avoid death. She looks at the hair of her Nana Bhai and comments, your few hairs are still black. So, you may live more time. When your all the hairs will become grey, then only you may die. How little Tanisha will know death does not depends on grey hairs only! Big air crash may snatch hundreds of life at a time on board either they are child or old!

Soon she became busy to other thinking. Sweet memories of her Singapore school rushes in her brain. Once in Hari Raya Tanisha were very happy in a park where she went with her parents. Now she knows Malaysian called Eid, Hari Raya. She saw their big march pasts in the city streets in the Chinese New year where children, young and old were very happy. With big cloths made dragons, big kites etc they walk, dance and sing in the streets. From the window of their flat she saw all these. She wanted to run there. But how little Tanisha would go! Next morning she met with her Chinese friends in the school. Then also they were happy for their festival. In the other festival also she saw very lively Singapore. It was Christmas day. Her Indian friends used to come to the school during their Puja festival with happy mood. So her Singapore friends knock her mind now and again.

In the discovery channel there is a program about Air crash. There causalities and causes are discussed. Tanisha heard about crashes of Bangladeshi airliners. She heard about crashes during Pakistani period. Nana Bhai served in the Air Force. He used to tell her story of aircrafts. Tanisha knew in 1971 we fought against Pakistan for liberation. In our Air Force there was a plane named Dakota DC-3. After liberation it became an aircraft of Bangladesh Biman. But it destroyed in a crash on February 10, 1972. It’s all the 5 crew members died. He also told on July 01, 1957 a PIA Douglas DC-10 crashed in Charlakhi Island in the Bay of Bengal. It’s all 20 passengers and 4 crews were killed. It was the first aircraft crash in the land. Then on December 02, 1970 a Cargolux Canadair CL 44 crashed into a farmhouse near Dhaka Airport. Kaniz Fatema Rokshana a women pilot died when her F-27 crashed near Dhaka in August 05 in 1984. Another woman pilot was Fareea Lara. She died while she was in a training flight with Syed Rafiqul Islam. They were the students of Air Parabat Flying Academy. Their Cessna was crashed near Postgolla, Dhaka. On June 07, 2002 in a crash Pilot Mukhlesur Rahman died of the same Academy. Nana Bhai also talked about death of PAF and BAF pilots by fighter aircraft accidents. There also were deaths of pilots in dog fights between fighter aircrafts during 1965 and 1971 wars between India and Pakistan and others wars in Middle East, Afghanistan and in Indo China. He told about only in Bangladesh till 2013 there were 13 crashes due to which 58 persons died. Tanisha feels about all of them. She heard about not only those, there were hundreds of big air disasters. Thousands of people were died on those accidents.

Some times Tanisha feels about all such deaths. What happened after death? She knows after death people are taken to the grave yards. Some are burnt in the pyre. Is it the End? How that can be? Mother said on death souls departed from their body. They were taken to other abodes by angels who are far away from this earth. Tanisha thinks about them. Mother said good souls are taken to the heaven and bad to the hell. She wishes let all the deaths have abodes in heaven. But where are the heavens? She heard almost all religions speak about heaven. She liked to know about them from her Nana Bhai.

Nana Bhai said then listen. From the Holy Quran we come to know there are heavens. In a verse there is, “the parable of the garden which the righteous are promised! Beneath it Flow Rivers, perpetual is the fruits thereof and the shade therein. Such is the End of the Righteous, and End of the unbelievers is the fire.” (Sura al-Rad/ Quran 13:35)

Tanisha’s prayer is let everybody enter the heaven. Nana Bhai explained there are many religions in the earth. Almost all of them have some sort of faith on heavens. So, listen those: In the native Chinese Confusians’ tradition Heaven (Tien) is an important concept where the ancestors reside and from which emperors drew their mandate to rule their dynastic propaganda.

According to Vaishnava Hindu tradition the highest heaven is Vaikuntha, which exists above the six heavenly lokas and out side the Mahat-tattava. It’s where eternally liberated souls who have attains Mokha reside in eternal sublime beauty with Lakshmi and Narayana.

According to Jainism, “the Deva lokas (heavens) are at the symbolic ‘Chest’ where all souls enjoying the positive Karmic effects reside.” They have several layer of it varying degree of Kermit merits.

According to Tibetan Buddhism there are 5 layers of Heavens.

Ancient Egyptian believed, “Heaven was a place far above the earth in a dark ‘dark area’ of space where there is no stars, basically beyond the universe.

In Indian religions, Heaven is considered as Svarga loka, and soul is subjected to rebirth in different living forms according to its Karma. The cycle can be broken after a soul attains Mokha or Nirvana. According to Buddhists : a person is led countless previous lives, usually as an animal, but somehow in this life he is born as a human being and in the next life he will be reborn as an animal, depending on the kind of life he has lived. This process will continue the Nirvana. However the Great Buddha always remained silent about the existence and non existence soul what will enter the Svarga. Like them Hindus’ beliefs are: a soul reincarnates again and again on earth until it becomes perfect and reunites with its source. During this process the soul enters into many bodies, assumes many forms and passes through many births and death. In Hindu beliefs SVARGA exists. In India and Greece many similar doctrines developed in different names. The Reincarnation, Rebirth and Transmigration of souls are such doctrines. What mainly meant a passage from the one body to another!

Biblical beliefs of Christians in heaven as the “Throne of God” they also say, to which all the elect will be admitted. Their beliefs about the life here after from the verse of Bible, “I look forward to the resurrection of death, and the life of the world to come.”

Followers of Kabbalah Jewish mysticism believes in seven heavens according to Talmud.

All the above are very hard matters for Tanisha. She wants all the children to enter heaven. Mother told her ’Monker and Nokir (two angels)’ play with the children. They are also friendly with them in their graves when they die. She believes it and she told to her Nana Bhai. Nana Bhai knows now Tanisha will lose her patience if she is told the long history of air disasters. Nana Bhai came to know from the internet that first recorded air crash was in August 02, 1919. It was a Carponi Ca.48 which crashed at Verone, Italy. Its death toll was 14 or 15 or 17 as reports vary. The first recorded mid air collision of airliners was in 1922 when a de Havilland DH. 18A, G-EAWO collided with Farman F-60 Goliath in the air of France near Picardie and killed 7 people on board. Then in the Second World War and later there were hundreds of aircraft crashed. In the history it is also seen that in the 1919, 1138 persons died in 211 accidents, in 2000 from 189 crashes there were 1582 deaths, in 2001there were 200 accidents when 4140 were killed, in the year 2002 in 185 accidents deaths tolls were 1413, in the year 2003 there were 1230 deaths from 199 accidents, in the year 2004 from 172 crashes death tolls were 771,in 2005 there were 185 accidents when 1459 died, in 2006 there were 1294 deaths from 166 accidents, in 2007 accidents were 147 and death tolls were 971, in 2008 there were 156 accidents when 884 people were killed, in the year 2009 death tolls were 1103 from 122 accidents, in 2010 disasters were 130 when 1115 killed, in the 2011 there were 828 deaths in 117 accidents, 2012 there were 119 accidents and death tolls were 794, in 2013 there were few big air disasters. On April 11 A Ukrainian Military aircraft crashed killing 129 personnel on board. In February 16 Nepal Airlines Flight 183 a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 crashed near Pokhara, Nepal that killed 18 people. On March 08, Malaysia Airlines flight 370, a Boeing 777-200ER crashed in the ocean, On March 28, 2014 at 2105 a Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules of Indian Air Force crashed near Karauli, India, killed 5 Indian Air Force crews. In the other corners of the world there were few small air crashes. Tanisha heard long before when her great grandfather (maternal) served in such aircraft in PAF, one was crashed over Karakoram Mountain where many airmen died. Nearby the highest war field i.e. a death valley where Pakistani and Indian soldiers very often fight and die.

It is Siachen Glacier which is about 18,875ft high above the sea level in the Eastern Karakoram Range in the Himalayan Mountains. There only air routes are useable. From 1947 to 2014 there were many military aircrafts crashes. Their death tolls will always remain unknown. There are also deaths of avalanches of soldiers of both the sides. On 7 April, 2012, an avalanche hit a Pakistani military camp situated at Giary Sector, where 129 Pakistani soldiers and 11 civilians were buried alive.

When grow up Tanisha will know about deadliest airliners disasters. Followings attracted public attention for their dramas of incidences, rescue activity and destruction. History will never forget Korean Airliners Flight 007 crash in 1983 near Moneron Island, Soviet Union that killed 269, American Airliners Flight 191 crash in 1979 near O’Hare Airport, Des Plaines, USA. It was a DC-10 aircraft. Its fatalities were 273 including 2 ground personnel, Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988 inpersian Gulf, its death were 290. United States military Helicopter USS Vincennes fired two missiles that both hit the Iranian Air Bus. For this United States has never formally apologised for that, Air Africa crash in 1996 in Kinshasa, Congo. About fatalities are two reports 225 or 348. This is by far the deadliest airplane accident for people on the ground, Saudi Flight 163 in 1980, in Riyadh Airport, after taking off it landed again to avoid causalities but as failed evacuate in due time all the 301 personnel on board died of smoke inhalation, Iran Ilyshin 11-76 a military aircraft crashed near Karman that killed 302 Iranian military personnel.

Suddenly Tanisha with Shaki came, urged for more. But these information they will understand when they will be matured but they realise clearly the deaths. In 1996 there was a collision in the air of Charkhi Dadri, India. Its fatalities were 349. In the month of November a Kazakhstan Airlines modified Military plane KZK 1907 collided with a Saudi Arabian Jet airliners. It happened due to lack of English Knowledge of the crews of Kazak’s plane. So, Saudi Boeing crashed and other one crash landed. In 1985 a Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashed at Ueno in Japan. It was a domestic flight. The plane was packed. It was the deadliest single aircraft crash what killed 520 people, however 4 were survived. In 1977 at Tenerife Airport, Canary Islands due to misunderstanding with ATC a KLM and a Pan Am flight collided at the airport. Deaths were 583. In 2001 near Yaizu , Japan there was a mid air incidence. It was between a Boeing 747 and DC- 10 who were flying at the same altitude. Boeing crews made a violent dive to save the accident otherwise that would be the deadliest airline accident. So,of 677 passengers and crews all survived with 99 injuries.

Nana Bhai said, normal accidents people take as usual incidents and consoles those to be act of God. But incidents like Pan Am Flight-103 that killed 290, and Air India Flight 182 that killed 329 were caused by bombs and the world trade centre disasters due to hijacking that killed 2753 will never be rubbed off from the memory of History till the dooms day. By this time what will be written in the History? Who will say it! The time to come will reply! Mahakal (future till the doomsday) may able to say. Tanisha wants no more accidents either that may be act of God or man creating disasters like bomb blasting or anything else. She along with her friend Shaki made strong invocation to their Lord Allah, O Khuda! Let there be no Air disaster and no death. They know kind and almighty Allah listens all the supplications on the Fri day. It is the holiest day for Muslims worldwide.

Nana Bhai is more practical. She thought about the deadliest air disasters.The deadliest DC-10 crash was Turkish Airlines Flight 981 in 1974 over Senlis, near Ermenoville, France which killed 346 onboard. Among other deadliest air disasters Air France Flight 447 crashed on June, 01, 2009 that went down the deep section of the Atlantic that killed 216 passengers and 12 crews when it was flying from Brazil to Paris. The wreckage and black box seem till date are under the water of the deep sea. Just two months after the 9/11 American Airlines Flight 587 on its way to Dominican Republic crashes at Queens, N.Y. killing 260 people on board. It crashed just after the take off. On October 31, 1999 Egypt Air Flight 990 flying from Los Angeles to Cairo crashed in the Atlantic Ocean that killed 217 onboard. On September 02, 1998 Swiss Flight 111 crashed in Atlantic, 111 died on board. There is no ocean where no aircraft is crashed. As a matter of fact, when an aircraft is in danger in the sky crews try to land in the sea if they find no suitable landing strip to land in the ground in the hope that there may be some survivors. Sometimes many survive. Others never come up from the seabed. Lists of air accidents are too long. It will take many pages to cover. Tanisha wants Nana should stop it now.

But Nana Bhai failed to say Tanisha the number of death children due to all crashes. At the same time Nana Bhai murmured,” Birth and death, the inseparable poles of all life on earth, should not be a secret to man.” He wanted to tell death is nothing but parting of souls from the body. Tanisa cannot guess about soul. Nana Bhai added most people have a feeling that we all have a soul of one form or another. Philosophers have speculated on this over the centuries. All the deaths are waiting for rebirth for next life to live in hell or heaven Nana Bhai added. Only children and martyrs will directly enter their heavens because they do not have any sin.

She thinks about the death children. But mother gave her happy news. All the children are sinless. Anybody where he or she takes birth is without any sin. If any child dies angels come and take that soul to heaven. Now Tanisha is worriless about the death children of air disasters. They will be sent to heavens certainly by our omnipotent and omniscient creator Allah. He has created everything in this great universe. Now Tanisha wants to tell her friends of Glylang Seri Education centre in Singapore specially Mathanda who and Tanisha were took to be the twin by others, not to be worry and convey her best wishes to her teachers. She also wants the relatives of all of the loss Malaysian airliners who are living around them in Singapore and anywhere in the earth to have patience as their death children will be happy in the next life. May all the death children be happy in the heavens! Let them be in the ‘Tuba, the valley of the children in Jannat where angels will play and laugh with them! Jannat is a splendid place to live in peace, where the dwellers will remain happy forever!