Dubai: An Indian expat from Dubai escaped injury in a car crash only to be killed by a bus soon after while returning from a pilgrimage in India, according to Indian media reports.
Jiju Thomas, 30, who was a chef at a five-star hotel in Dubai, according to his Facebook page, was back home on vacation when the incident occurred in the early hours of Monday. He died along with two others, including his cousin, and his funeral will be on Thursday, according to a relative.
Thomas and his family members were on their way home from Velankanni in Tamil Nadu, one of the most visited Christian pilgrim sites in India, according to reports.
The family from Kollam district initially had a miraculous escape after their car’s tyre burst and the vehicle came to a halt, hitting a divider in the Thenkasi Vasudevanallur area.
The women and kids who were in the car were sent home in another vehicle which came that way, while the two men – Thomas and his cousin Sinju K. Ninan, 37 - stayed back to repair their SUV, according to The New Indian Express.
They called for a recovery vehicle and while they were tying the car to that vehicle for towing it away, a speeding tourist bus hit the car, crushing to death both the cousins and the driver of the recovery vehicle identified as Rajashekaran, 50 of Tamil Nadu.
Reports said the police took the bus driver into custody and the bodies were shifted to a local government hospital.
Thomas was due to return to Dubai in two days.
One of his friends here, Dennis Fetzner, shared a photo with Thomas and posted: “Still having this memory, was a great evening and I still keep that as one of the best ones, even I didn’t know you for many years Jiju Thomas but it was enough time to call you a friend ! You take care now at that place where you are now and you can be sure you’ll be missed like hell, mate.”