Bystanders turn into first rescuers of victims

The injured at the Bhadrakali Fire Works unit being shifted to the hospital in Warangal on Wednesday.

The injured at the Bhadrakali Fire Works unit being shifted to the hospital in Warangal on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Murali

Most of the dead were financially poor, family members need government help

Two of the scores who were trapped in a fire accident at the Bhadrakali Fire Works escaped with injuries, thanks to the prompt intervention of local youth L. Ramu and others.

Eight persons were killed and five others were injured when a fire broke out at the Bhadrakali Fire Works unit at Geesukonda mandal around 11 a.m. here on Wednesday. The cause of mishap is not known yet and officials believe it could be due to electrical short circuit.

“I was at a temple less than half-a-kilometre away from the site when I heard a big blast and I reached there within 10 minutes. Even as the crackers were going up, I and others entered the premises and brought out one male and one female worker who sustained injuries. We tried to bring out another woman but she was already fully burnt,” he told The Hindu.

Among those who arrived on the spot first included one B. Motilal Naik, resident of Keerthi Nagar and a ruling party leader. “The crackers were still going up and I found a severed head outside the compound and a severed leg near the entrance. We, who gathered rushed in and shifted three to the hospital. It was a horrific sight,” he said.

Mothers dead

Local women who gathered in large numbers wailed inconsolably at the death of two women who lived opposite the unit. One Sravani and her sister-law Srivani sent their kids to school and went to work at the unit.

But they died within few hours. Their husbands worked as auto-drivers and poverty drove them to undertake the work knowing it was hazardous. “Srivani has three daughters all under seven, while Sravani has two daughters. I just cannot imagine their plight,” said local resident Kumari wiping her tears.

She pleaded that the authorities should take care of the kids and the families of those killed.

According to Motilal Naik, the crackers went up for over 20 minutes and the whole unit turned into ashes quickly.

People present at the site refused to give their names and relate their experience for fear of being identified and called for inquiries. “I cannot tell my name as the police will call me repeatedly to the police station,” said one youth.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 4:47:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/bystanders-turn-into-first-rescuers-of-victims/article24333462.ece

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