For Ashok Kumar Tripathi and his Thane-based estranged wife Vaibhavi, their reunion for a trip to Nepal with their children met a tragic end as their plane crashed in Nepal on Sunday.
The bustling city of Thane struggled to come to terms with the death of four members of a family whose yearly vacation in picturesque Nepal was tragically cut short when the plane carrying them crashed.
Businessman Ashok Kumar Tripathi and his Thane-based estranged wife Vaibhavi Bandekar Tripathi were on a reunion trip to the Himalayan country along with their kids, son Dhanush (22) and daughter Ritika (15), when the tragedy struck on Sunday.
Ashok Tripathi (54), who ran a company in Odisha, and Vaibhavi Tripathi (51), who worked in a financial firm in Mumbai, had separated following court orders, an official from the Kapurbawdi police station in Thane said on Monday.
As per court orders, the family was to be together for 10 days in a year and this year they had planned a trip to Nepal.
Their plane, belonging to private Tara Air, went missing on Sunday morning in the mountainous region of Nepal minutes after taking off from the tourist city of Pokhara.
Besides the four Indian nationals, the plane was carrying two Germans and 13 Nepali passengers, besides a three-member Nepali crew. Rescuers have so far pulled out 20 bodies from the wreckage of the crashed Nepalese plane and located one more.
Unlike on Sunday, there was hardly any movement around the Rustomjee Athena housing society in Thane city's Balkum area, where Vaibhavi Bandekar Tripathi resided along with her kids, on Monday and police also did not visit their flat.
Residents of the housing society were also tight-lipped about the family and had prohibited the entry of media persons in their compound.
Security guards at the Rustomjee Athena housing society, where a pall of gloom descended after the news of the death of the couple and their kids appeared in the media, were maintaining a strict vigil and not allowing any non-resident to enter the premises.
Vaibhavi Tripathi held a top position at a private financial firm in Mumbai and had recently taken leave to go on a vacation with her family members.
According to sources in her office, Vaibhavi Tripathi held the No. 2 position in the company, which operates out of BKC, a business district in suburban Mumbai.
A staffer at the company's office said they came to know about the crash on Monday morning and everybody was in shock.
The sources declined to share more information about her, saying their seniors have asked company staffers not to interact with the media.
Vaibhavi Tripathi's 80-year-old mother, who is in poor health, is the only person left at the family's home in Thane and she has not been informed about the tragedy.
A Mumbai police official said they are waiting for the arrival of a man who has taken her flat in Borivli, a western suburb, on rent and is currently out of the metropolis.
Other members of the family were waiting for the bodies to arrive in Thane from Kathmandu.
Thane district disaster control officer Anita Jawanjule said government officials were coordinating with Nepal authorities on bringing back the bodies.
A senior official at the Kapurbawdi police station, under whose jurisdiction the Rustomjee Athena housing society comes, said they did not visit the family's flat on Monday.