Miraculous escape

DUBAI - "Mum is the word" said Ross Ferns, an employee of an advertising agency in Dubai, speechless for a while after his miraculous escape with death on Tuesday.

By Meraj Rizvi

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Published: Wed 11 Feb 2004, 12:11 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:40 PM

Ross who was booked on the ill-fated Kish Airlines flight for visa change was forced by his company to change his travel plans, insisting that he travelled with the new Russian airline visa change flight from Sharjah to Muscat, which was more economical and completed the operation in lesser time as compared to the other airlines.

"When I learnt of the crash soon after arriving in Dubai (flight diverted from Sharjah) in the afternoon, I just couldn't believe it. If not for my company's last minute decision, I would have been one of the victims of the ill fated airline. I am so grateful to God for saving my life. It has been a close escape for me. My family who live in Mumbai were frantically trying to reach me on my mobile but, since, I was onboard the flight, they could not reach me. That short period where my wife tried to reach me on the mobile after learning about the crash on TV has been a harrowing experience for all of us," said Ross recounting the endless number of calls he has been receiving from family and friends who knew of his plans to exit the UAE for the visa change formalities.

Recalling his anger when he first learnt on Monday evening that his company had made last minute flight changes, despite his insistence to book him on the Kish Airlines visa change flight, which would have served two purpose-visa change as well as giving him the opportunity to see the beautiful Kish Island, Ross said he was very upset. "If only I had not travelled to Abu Dhabi on Monday on business, I would have made sure that my company booked me on Kish Airlines only. But, it was too late by the time I arrived in Dubai and was handed the tickets to set out for visa change to Muscat on some Russian carrier," Ross disclosed.

"To tell you the truth, I had all my doubts about the Russian aircraft I was travelling in would reach Sharjah safely. I was shocked with the poor maintenance of the aircraft and the rickety noises made, and no safety regulations observed on board. And, when the airhostess announced that the flight would land in Dubai rather than Sharjah due to technical problems, I was convinced that my flight had developed some problems and would crash. I started to pray hard to let me see my family again.I learnt later on landing in Dubai that all flights to Sharjah were diverted to Dubai due to a crash of a Kish Airlines plane. The first thing that came to my mind was "I was suppose to be on that flight". All I can say now is that God is great and I now strongly believe in Destiny."

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