Charity attends Air India disaster memorial

The international chairman of a Whitley Bay-based charity has attended a memorial to mark the 29th anniversary of the Air India disaster in Ireland.

Vishwanath Pullé from the Angels of the North, who has organised and officiated as Master of Ceremonies at all the memorial services in County Cork, Ireland, was joined by fellow-trustees, relatives and friends who lost loved ones in the disaster, to remember all those who perished in what was then the worst crime in aviation history.

When a bomb detonated on board Air India Flight 182 bound from Toronto and Montreal to New Delhi and Mumbai via London on the June 23, 1985, all 329 passengers perished off the south-western Irish coast in the Atlantic Ocean.

A lasting memorial was created on the beach – a graceful, hand carved limestone sundial, notched so that on the same day every year the sun casts its shadow at 8:13 am, the exact moment of the tragedy.

Angels of the North chairman Hari Shukla said: “Sadly too many incidents today are of such size or nature that the Emergency Services can no longer effectively cope on their own.

“It is then that they turn to the various Voluntary Services like Angels of the North that are prepared, and have pre-planned, to commit themselves to assisting in specific areas of the emergency requirements, particularly when friends and relatives are coming to what is an alien and unfamiliar environment, mostly at very short notice, and under the most traumatic of circumstances.”