If it was not for the quick thinking of Mahadev Kamble, 40, a peon in the Mumbai municipality, his wife and 5-year-old daughter would not have survived Friday’s building collapse.
The Kamble family lived on the second floor of the building. At 5.45 a.m., he felt the building shaking. “He acted immediately and put the mattress around our daughter. He forced both of us below the bed in a fraction of a second. The concrete fell on the bed and not directly on us,” said his 34-year-old wife Kavita.
The family was trapped inside the building for nearly six hours. When they were rescued, their daughter Bhagyashri escaped without much harm, while her parents had minor hip injuries. Their neighbour Ganesh Gurav used the torch on his cell-phone to help the rescue team locate them.
Yogesh Pawar, a reporter of a Marathi daily, who lived in the building, is yet to be traced. None of Mr. Pawar’s two mobile phones is working. “We have no clue to his whereabouts and officials are not in a position to tell us anything,” said Chandrakant Kamble, his brother-in-law.
Mr. Pawar’s mother was in their native village along with her sister and son-in-law when the tragedy took place. His father was working in the Water Department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. His body has been recovered.
“The family, devastated by the news, has left for Mumbai,” said Mr. Kamble.