Since the kids were between their parents, the gap facilitated air circulation. Most of the rubble fell on Venkataiah and Padma, and they covered their kids by bearing the brunt. It appeared as if the parents gave rebirth to their children even as they died in the process," was the common remark among members of rescue teams.

Kids sleeping with their parents is common, and that is what saved the lives of 10-year-old K. Avinash and his sister K. Anusha, half his age, when a rock compound wall collapsed on their hut in the dead of the night on Monday. Cuddled one against the other, the siblings were fast asleep between their parents, Venkataiah and Padma, on the floor.

“As stones of the wall and mud behind it fell, all the four got buried under the debris. “But since the kids were between their parents, the gap facilitated air circulation. Most of the rubble fell on Venkataiah and Padma, and they covered their children by bearing the brunt of the wall collapse,” Malkajgiri DCP N. Shiva Kumar said.

“It appeared as if the parents gave rebirth to their children even as they died in the process,” was the common remark among members of rescue teams. Though the wall crumbled thirty minutes past Monday midnight, it was 2.30 a.m. by the time local residents learnt about it and alerted police.

Though almost the entire Malkajgiri zone police of Cyberabad were occupied with security arrangements for the panchayat election on Tuesday, the available policemen and officers arrived at the spot in half-an-hour. Firemen, too, turned up simultaneously and retrieved four bodies of another labourer’s family immediately.

“We could see Venkataiah and Padma get crushed under the debris. The firemen, who used electronic detectors, noticed that the two kids were breathing. Our main goal was to save them without causing any injury,” recalled the DCP. Earth-moving machines were not pressed into service immediately as it was felt that any attempt to lift the rubble might lead to the rest of the wall coming down. It was decided to dig the soil closer to the point where the two children were lying in a semi-conscious state between their dead parents.

For the next five hours, firemen, personnel of NDRF and CISF cautiously and calculatedly removed the debris. Finally, they safely brought out Anusha first and her brother after a couple of hours.

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