Sreenivasa Reddy Badam, 24, and Ganeshram Sreenivasan, 23, both Indians and computer science students at North Carolina's Clemson University, were among 21 people killed when a US Airways Express commuter plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport on Wednesday morning.
The two were on their way back from vacation in India and were on the last leg of their return journey when Flight 5481 bringing them back to Greenville crashed.
Badam, who hailed from Podili in Andhra Pradesh, worked in the area of software reliability, while Sreenivasan was a graduate of BITS, Pilani, and had worked as a programmer with iNautix Technology in Chennai before coming to Clemson for his Masters.
The two were part of a close-knit Indian community of about 400 students, Frankie Felder, a graduate school dean who also oversees international services and programmes, was quoted as saying.
The president of the Indian Student Association organised a prayer service on Wednesday at the university's student centre.
Nikhil Deshpande, a friend of Badam, said it was to help the community and pray for the families of the victims.
"It is to say, 'Whatever happens has to happen.' Even if a person dies, their soul lives on. They are transformed from one figure to another figure," Deshpande told the Anderson Independent-Mail newspaper.