Most of the 31 U.S. residents, including at least 17 children, killed in the crash of Air-India Flight 182 Sunday were traveling in family groups and headed for visits with relatives in India.
Members of six families from the Detroit area and three families from the suburbs of Buffalo were among the 329 people on board the Boeing 747 jumbo jet when it went down, possibly because of a terrorist bomb, off the coast of Ireland. The flight was en route from Canada to India, with a refueling stop in London.
Several families are believed to have been killed in the crash. In other cases, husbands who remained behind lost their wives and children.
At least seven of the 31 U.S. residents were American citizens, according to Air-India and the passengers' relatives and neighbors. Others were citizens of India who had immigrated to the United States.
One family was from a suburb of Cincinnati and one man was from Vermont.
As of last night, Air-India was unable to confirm the full names and home towns of all those on board.
According to the Census Bureau, 13,000 Indian natives live in Michigan, concentrated in the southeastern part of the state. The Toronto airport, from which Flight 182 departed, is approximately a four-hour drive from Detroit.
O.K. Subramanian, 43, a Detroit Edison engineer from Ypsilanti, Mich.; his wife, Jaya, 38; their son, Murali, 13, and daughter, Sumita, 3, were on the flight, a family friend told station WXYZ-TV in Detroit. Air-India listed five people with that surname on its passenger list, but had no first names.
Pulivelil K. Jacob, 43; his wife, Aleykutty, 42, and three children, of Canton Township in suburban Detroit, were going to visit relatives in southern India, according to a friend. Jacob was co-owner of a fleet of taxicabs that operated at Detroit's Metropolitan Airport and his wife was a nurse. They were U.S. citizens, the friend said.
Their children were Jissey, 13; Jhansy, 10, and Jeston, 8.
Saroj Bedi; her daughter, Anu, 15, and son, Jatin, 9, of Troy, Mich., were on their way to visit her parents for the first time in six years, neighbors told The Detroit News. Bedi worked as a microfilmer at Veratex Corp. Her husband, a Canadian citizen, is a chemical engineer with American Motors in Sarnia, Ontario.
Sudhir Gupta, of Farmington Hills, Mich., said his wife, Shashi, 35; daughter, Arti, 10, and son Amit, 6, were on the plane. A company manager, Gupta said he had planned to meet his family in India next month. His wife was a bilingual teacher in the public schools.
Ramchandar Kumar, 34, a computer technician, and his wife, Chitra, 30, of Ann Arbor, Mich., were on board, according to a neighbor who said Kumar was working on a master's degree at the University of Michigan.
Sundar Swaminathan, of Sterling Heights, Mich., said his wife, Indira, 38, and their children -- Anand, 14; Padma, 8, and Ramya, 5 -- were aboard the plane. He is an industrial consultant at the University of Michigan. His two daughters were born in the United States.
In the Buffalo area, Dr. John Asirwatham, a clinical assistant professor of pathology, said his wife, Dr. Ruth Asirwatham, and two daughters, Sunita, 14, and Anita, 12, of Cheektowaga, were on the flight.
Aleykutty (Elizabeth) Job, 42, of Tonawanda, also a Buffalo suburb, was flying with her daughter, Teena, 14, according to a cousin in Rochester. Job was a nurse at Veterans Administration Medical Center there.
Prabha Bathi Reddy, 35, of North Tonawanda, N.Y., was going to visit relatives, according to her husband, Molakala Reddy, an assistant professor at a school of dental medicine in Buffalo. He said the family had been in this country for seven years.
More than 500 Indian families live in western New York, according to Geeti Doctor, a Buffalo physician and president of the India Association of Buffalo, Inc. "Basically, everybody is in a state of shock, a state of disbelief," he said.
From Anderson Township, Ohio, Rajeshwar Gupta, 45, and his wife Swatantar, 38, with their daughters, Vandana, 15, and Shaffi, 11, are believed among the dead. Gupta practiced law in India before immigrating and was preparing to take the Ohio bar exam for a second time. His wife was a computer programmer. "They were very, very excited" about returning to India for their first visit since arriving in the United States five years ago, family friend Dr. Harial Choudhury said. "He was always happy, always smiling. There was never any sorrowness in his face."
Bishan Kaushal, 45, of Essex Junction, Vt., an electrical engineer at IBM, was a passenger, according to Air-India. His wife, Kamla, and their three children reportedly flew to India a week ago to see relatives.
A neighbor described Kaushal as "a very religious man" who "worked very, very hard for his family."