Two off-duty cabin crew who were in Boston at the time of the marathon bombings helped re-unite a 10-year-old boy with his family after he was separated from them in the panic that followed the blasts.

Worldwide purser Joanne Verma and crew member Eileen Cambridge were having a meal in a mall near the finishing line when the explosions went off.

Everyone was told to evacuate the building and in the ensuing stampede for the exits the boy lost contact with his parents.

With the police urging everyone to vacate the mall, Jo and Eileen took the distressed child under their wing and guided him out of the building.

Once outside, the boy remembered his cousin’s phone number and the crew members borrowed a phone from a passer-by to make contact.

Communication was made more difficult by a language barrier until a Cantonese speaker was found who could reassure the parents in their mother tongue.

Arrangements were made to meet the father at a local library but the saga did not end there as the library was evacuated too and another rendezvous had to be arranged.

Eventually, three hours later, the father managed to reach their hotel and was reunited with his son. He was delighted at the end of his ordeal and hugged the crew in gratitude.

Inflight business manager Paula Birtall says: “Both myself and [fellow IBM] Carol Harman met the flight and thanked the crew for everything they had done. We also met them for their briefing the following day to ensure they were okay. CSD Wilma Wheatley has also completed a Bravo on both girls.”