It is said that angels often safeguard and protect when humans run into trouble. Maria Zuberi did exactly that when she saved many innocent lives from being lost in the fumes of her crashing plane. On June 28, the chartered plane which Zuberi was piloting, crashed in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar area. From the time it was evident that the plane was going to crash, she took over as an angel and averted many causalities.
In the Mumbai plane crash, there was another female member on board and she was technician Surabhi, who was two months pregnant.
The chartered plane (Beechcraft King Air C90) crashed in a residential colony, in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar area, leaving five people dead.
The deceased are captain Pradeep Singh Rajput, co-pilot Maria Zuberi, aircraft engineer Surabhi and aircraft technician Manish Pandey. A guard at the construction site also died when the aircraft fell on him.
The plane was making an emergency landing in Mumbai when it developed engine trouble. It, however, fell short of the runway, and Maria decided to crash into an empty construction site rather than a school.
The 12-seater aircraft was owned by UY Aviation Pvt. Ltd. It comes under Kothari, a famed Pan Parag gutka brand. Even though the extent of the damage is unknown, the investigation is underway:
— Ankita Sinha (@AnkitaSinha311) June 28, 2018
As soon as the news of the crash spread, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis visited the site, and was given first-hand information of the disaster.
Even former aviation minister Praful Patel tweeted this post, applauding the efforts of pilots like Maria Zuberi, whose heroic action will not go down unnoticed.
Saddened to hear about the unfortunate incident at #ghatkopar as Charter plane crashes in an open area. Salute to the pilot who showed presence of mind to avoid a big mishap, saving many lives at the cost of her own life. #RIP to all the 5 Dead. My deepest condolences.
— Praful Patel (@praful_patel) June 28, 2018
Maria Zuberi was the co-pilot of the ill-fated aircraft. She belonged to Allahabad, UP, and is survived by her husband and daughter Bella. Maria was the first pilot in her family.
Today, Maria is no more with us, but her husband Prabhat Kathuria hasn’t taken her death lightly. He has levelled serious allegations on the aviation company for not preparing for the bad weather. This is what he said:
The incident could have been averted. Maria had told me that the flight won't be flown due to bad weather. The aviation company is responsible for this unfortunate incident: P Kuthariya, Husband of pilot killed in chartered plane crash in Mumbai earlier today pic.twitter.com/1i1TwDA7Yx
— ANI (@ANI) June 28, 2018
It’s shocking that aircraft did not even have a valid certificate of airworthiness. But, Maria’s superb decision to avert more causalities, is something which can never be forgotten.
Even as the news of Maria Zuberi’s heroic act spread fast, people have not stopped applauding her for the selfless act. Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:
This nation should remain indebted to Captain Maria Zuberi, and Captain PS Rajput, the co-pilot and the pilot respectively of the chartered plane which crashed in Bombay yesterday. It's they who are real heroes rather than some cheap, thug and criminal politicians. Salutes!
— Syed Hassan Kazim (@shk_journalist) June 29, 2018
— Indiatimes (@indiatimes) June 28, 2018
For all those who think women are bad drivers, shouldn’t be allowed on roads ~ today it was a woman pilot who sacrificed her life to save yours. I salute you Captain Maria Zuberi. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. #MumbaiTragedy @TimesNow
— Hardeep Dugal (@hardeepdugal) June 28, 2018
Maria Zuberi really an unsung heroine.
— Jayamohan T.R (@JayamohanTR1) June 29, 2018
Brave Pilot Maria Zuberi Lost Her Life While Saving Many Others In Mumbai Plane Crash https://t.co/uvIhI7jvou
— Kõnárk çhõprá (@kaka_ricardo_) June 29, 2018
The four people on board the plane who died in the crash have been identified as Captain PS Rajput, Pilot Maria Zuberi, Assistant Maintenance Engineer Surbhi and air technician Manish Panday.
Real brave girl Maria let us pray her soul and her colleagues RIP.#GhatkoparPlaneCrash pic.twitter.com/oQsGy026GS
— Sohail Azad (@sazad35) June 28, 2018
— Gopal Bhalodi (@GBhalodi) June 28, 2018
RIP Maria Zuberi and rest of the souls who lost their precious lives.