On board were four Indian families too, some of whom were headed for a family reunion that was never meant to be.
Here are their profiles:
Kranti Shirsat (44): A resident of Bhugaon, close to Pune, Kranti was on board to North Korea to meet her husband, Prahlad, who heads an NGO there. A mother of two, she was an MSc graduate from Beed, and a former college teacher in Pune. The family resided in Tajikistan for a couple of years where Prahlad was posted. They then shifted to Bhugaon from where he took a posting in North Korea.
Chandrika Sharma (51): A social activist and an alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), was going to Mongolia for a regional conference on food and agriculture, organised by the FAO. She was from Chennai.
Vinod Kolekar (63); Chetana Kolekar (59) and Swanand Kolekar (23): Hailing from Mumbai, the trio were headed for the convocation ceremony of their older son Samved (29) in Beijing. Samved had completed his PhD in astrophysics recently. Vinod was a former employee of an automobile major in Mumbai. This was Chetna's first flight.
Muktesh Mukherjee (42): A resident of Canada, he was the vice-president of the China operations of Xcoal Energy and Resources. He and his wife Xiaomo Bai were on the ill-fated flight. Interestingly, he is the grandson of Mohan Kumaramangalam, who was a minister from the Indira Gandhi government, and incidentally lost his life in May 1973.