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Irish village commemorates 1985 Air India bombing

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Ahakista, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland, June 22, 2004 - The plaque at the front of the memorial to the victims of the Air India bombing. DOC 002 (Photo: Special to The Vancouver Sun) [PNG Merlin Archive]

Image courtesy BBC
Image courtesy BBC

Dublin: A memorial service was held in the Irish village of Ahakista in County Cork on Tuesday to honour the Air India Flight 182 crash victims who died when a bomb exploded on board off the Irish coast 30 years ago, media reported.

Family members of the 329 passengers and crew, who lost their lives in the 1985 crash, gathered at the sundial monument to honur the victims, RTE News reported.

The memorial service was attended by India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. V.K. Singh (retd), Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan and Canadian Minister of Justice Peter MacKay.

The sundial monument displays the exact time the aircraft exploded midair.

“There can never be justification for the murder of innocents in pursuit of any political end. Unfortunately terrorism continues to plague our world and we have seen many repugnant and malevolent acts in the last 30 years,” UTV Ireland quoted Flanagan as saying.

Air India Flight 182 was flying from Toronto to London when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 329 people on June 23, 1985.

Most of those killed were Canadian nationals of Indian origin and it is believed the crash was caused by a bomb planted by Sikh extremists.

A Sikh electrician, Inderjit Singh Reyat, was eventually convicted on a manslaughter charge over the bombing and was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

(IANS)

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Air India connects to West Coast: To fly Delhi-San Francisco thrice weekly

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New Delhi: Air India on Sunday announced it was starting the only non-stop link with America’s west coast with a flight between Delhi and San Francisco from December 2.

“San Francisco will become Air India’s fourth destination in the United States. Air India operates daily non-stop flights to New York (JFK), Newark (EWR) and Chicago (ORD),” an Air India statement said.

The service is looking to cater to the large Indian community in America’s Silicon Valley, where Modi paid a visit on Saturday.

“Passengers from seven cities, all IT hubs, in India – Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Pune -will have seamless connections to the flight from Delhi. Likewise, the return flight from San Francisco will provide onward connections to nine cities, i.e. Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Pune and Bhubaneswar,” the national carrier said.

The flight to and from San Francisco will operate three days a week, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

The flight will offer a 3-cabin configuration, with eight first class seats, 35 in business class and 195 seats in economy class, the Air India statement said.

Air India earlier operated a Delhi-Frankfurt-Los Angeles connection which it stopped around six years back, owing to insufficient passenger loads.

(IANS)