Malaysia Airlines attendant couple averted death once, but not twice

(CNN) — This is a crash that should never have happened, and Sanjid Sandhu should not have been aboard.

Sandhu took another flight attendant’s spot, trying to get home early to see his parents. He instead chose to work on the plane that would be shot down over Ukraine.

He and his wife Bee Geok Tan are both Malaysia Airlines flight attendants. Last March, Tan was scheduled to work Flight 370. Sandhu’s parents say she swapped shifts at the last minute, so she did not board what would become the missing plane.

A brush with death then, that has arrived to claim another.

Sandhu leaves behind not just his wife, but a 10-year-old son, Hans, who told his grandfather “hey Dadaji, don’t worry, I’m here, I’ll take over for your son. I’m now the man of the house.”

The head of the flight attendants union in Malaysia says the unprecedented two disaster for one airline, just months apart, have shaken flight crews to the core.

“It hits you really deep, seeing faces of people you know, friends you flew with past many years ago, friends who called me right before the flight,” said union head Ismail Nasaruddin.

Sandhu’s parents say after this crash, their daughter-in-law may never be able to fly again.

She left a public message to her husband in Chinese on Facebook: “We know you are gone and you won’t be coming back. I wish you a safe journey and I know you will go to a much better place.’

But there’s no such peace for Sandhu’s parents.

“I beg the rebels to please be human for one reason,” said Sandhu’s father Jijar Singh Sandhu, “at least release the bodies. They want to fight, go ahead and fight.”

But at least give these families some measure of peace.

 

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