Common funeral held for the twelve unidentified victims of Air crash including Ignatius D’Souza

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Report and Pictures by Eugene D’Souza, Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network

Mangalore, 02 June 2010: The curtain has finally come down on the tragedy of Air India Express Dubai-Mangalore IX-812 flight that crashed at the Bajpe airport on 22nd May 2010 that had resulted in the death of 158 of 166 on board, when the bodies of the last twelve victims of the disaster including that of Ignatius D’Souza of Manibettu, Moodubelle were accorded a common funeral on Wednesday, 2nd June 2010 at 4.30 pm on the bank of the Kulur River on the Panamboor side. 

Ignatius D’Souza

The site was prepared in advance with 12 graves dug in three lines having four graves each. Family members and relatives of the unidentified victims had started gathering in the make shift shamianas from 2 pm. The police and Municipal authorities had made thorough arrangements for the common funeral. The police force was present in large number under the direction of the Commissioner of Police of Mangalore, S. Kumar Singh.

The bodies were brought to the make shift burial ground  from the mortuary in three ambulances at around 3.30pm. By that time a large number of people had already gathered along with a number of media persons to cover the event. The Central government was represented by K.H. Muniappa, the State Minister for the Railways, the Karnataka State Government was represented by J. Krishna Palemar, Minister of Ecology, Environment and Inland Water Transport and also the Guardian Minister of Dakshina Kannada District. Besides these two ministers, Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, Mayor of Mangalore, representatives of Air India and other government departments were also present.

With the arrival of the unidentified bodies to the burial ground they were laid by the side of the allotted graves by volunteers. Thereafter priests representing three religions, Islam, Roman Catholicism and Hindu recited their respective prayers for the eternal rest of the souls of the deceased. The Christian prayer was recited by Rev. Fr. Denis Prabhu Moras, the Vicar General of Mangalore Diocese. Two other priests, Fr. William Menezes and Fr. Valerian Pinto were also present for the common funeral.

Soon after the recitation of  prayers, the family members of each of the twelve unidentified bodies paid their  homage to their departed members by offering flowers at the common table. Thereafter, K.H. Muniappa, J.Krishna Palemar, Navin Kumar Kateel and other political leaders as well as departmental representatives including the Police, Home Guards, Hospital heads and even Air India representatives paid their last tribute to the victims of the grim tragedy by offering garlands.


Soon after the ritual of the paying tribute was over, everyone stood in silent prayer for two minutes and thereafter  the mortal remains were lowered in the graves one by one and were laid to eternal rest and the graves were filled with sand and mud. The entire procedure of the common funeral was over by 4.30 pm and the ministers and officials made their way out consoling the family members of the victims. K.H. Muniappa had few words of consolation to the widow of Ignatius D’Souza, Patricia and two children, Precita and Chris Garry.

The unidentified mortal remains that were finally laid to  rest by the side of the Kulur River on the side of Panamboor were those of : Ignatius D’Souza of Shaktinagar, Mohammed Ismail Hassan of Jeppu, K K Shetty of Kodialbail, Vaman Prabhu of Ashoknagar, all hailing from Mangalore; Aboobakker Siddiq, Abdul Aziz, brothers from Uppala;  Abdul Basheer from Bekal, Sukumar from Mailatti, Sujatha Survase-Air India crew member, Naveed Ibrahim, Malpe, Zainab Mohammed Ziyad and Mohammed Zubair from Udupi,both children.

Besides, the widow of Ignatius-Patricia and children-Precita and Chris Garry and their neighbours from Shaktinagar, Mangalore, seventeen persons from Moodubelle attended the common funeral including Mrs. Florine D’Souza, mother of late Ignatius, Benedict D’Souza, eldest brother of Ignatius who had come from Dombivli, Mumbai,  Victor D’Souza, another brother staying at Manibettu, Moodubelle along with his wife Stella, and children Shiny, Sandeep and Vinita,  Rosita-wife of Edward, the younger brother of Ignatius, Juliana Rita Monis, sister  of Ignatius, Cyril D’Souza, Gurkar of St. Paul I ward to which the family of Ignatius belong. 

 Ignatius was born on 6th February 1961 as the third child among 6 children of late Joseph and Florine D’Souza of Manibettu in Moodubelle. His siblings are: Benedict (Dombivli), Victor (Manibettu), Juliana Rita Monis, Sr. Ilene (Germany) and Edward (Dubai). Ignatius studied up to 10th standard in Moodubelle and did his PUC studies in St. Mary’s PU College, Shirva. After his studies, Ignatius went to Mumbai where he worked for some time staying at St. Lawrence Club, Clare Road Byculla, before proceeding to Dubai for better future where he worked for nearly 25 years.

Ignatius married Patricia from Shaktinagar and they have two children-Precita (17) and Chris Garry (12). Precita just passed  PUC  examination and has taken admission in St. Joseph’s Engineering College, Mangalore for Information technology course. Chris Garry is in 7th standard. The air tragedy snatched away Ignatius from his family when they required him the most.

Bellevision shares the grief and sorrow of the family of late Ignatius D’Souza and extends heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family.



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Comments on this Article
Victor D almeida, Moodubelle/Bahrain Fri, June-4-2010, 3:39
It is very sad our parishioner Mrs Patricia is unlucky to claim her husbands body it is quite unfortunate. Really it broke my heart. Suppose if my family is in this situation God only knows what would have been happened.I pray to God please don t put anybody in this kind of situation and pray God give them courage to bear their great loss. It all made my mind to pay a visit to these families in my coming holidays to console them and share their sorrows that is the list i can do. Dear Ignatius if you are alive what would have been thought about your children and their future. God only knows your children how much love they expected from you, Ignatius you are no more with us but you are always with us in our heart.May God bless his soul rest in peace.
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Fri, June-4-2010, 3:53
I took liberty to link this article to my blog at For a week, the bodies had confused identities based on the religion of the claimants. This despite the claim of each religion that God is one. With the common funeral, good sense prevailed over sectarian mindset. The souls are now truly at peace. May God now give peace to us, the living, peace, wisdom and courage to work towards preventing tragic untimely loss of lives.
Victor DSouza and Family, Moodubelle / Doha Wed, June-2-2010, 1:29
I have so many fond memories of Ignatius as he was my cousin. Besides that he was also my class mate and bench mate in 8th standard at St. Lawrence High School. I still remember those school days when we enjoyed each others company. Death is never easy to accept and when it is so unexpected it adds to the grief. It is times like this that puts our faith to the test and that is why we have to use our faith to see us through the grief and despair that comes with tragedy. Dear Florine Mousi, Patricia, Precita, Chris Garry, Benedict, Victor, Juliana, Sr. Ilene and Edward, our thoughts and prayers will be with you and your lovely family. The Bible says blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. We pray that God will bless you and give you the strength to get through this very difficult time. Many thanks to Dr. Eugene for going all the way to Panamboor and providing the pictures and the detailed report on the same day in Bellevision.
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