Mumbai

‘After a while, my brother’s voice went silent’

All lost: Distraught relatives of the victims outside JJ Hospital on Tuesday.

All lost: Distraught relatives of the victims outside JJ Hospital on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

Relatives recount horror of loved ones being trapped under debris, building crumbling before their eyes

The building that collapsed in Dongri on Tuesday ravaged several households, but two families in particular, who lost two members each. Ten people died and eight were injured in the mishap, while another 10 were still feared trapped at the time of going to press. Three of the deceased were minors.

Among those who died were Abdul Sattar Shaikh (55), who lived with his family on the third floor, and his daughter-in-law Sabiya. Shaikh’s wife, Salma, and grandchildren survived.

Salma is admitted to JJ Hospital, and the grandchildren, Abdul Rehman (4) and three-month-old Alisha, are also being treated for injuries. All three are in a stable condition now. Alisha has injuries to her ear and has been admitted to the ear-nose-throat department.

Shaikh’s brother Pirmohammad, who lives in the adjacent building, said the structure that collapsed was old. “They were asked to vacate it, but since there was no other place for them to go, they continued living in the dilapidated building. Around 11 a.m., I felt a jolt and heard a noise, so I ran outside to see what had happened. I saw the building where my brother lived had come crashing. Many people were buried under the debris, and I started helping to pull them out. I was able to save Salma, Abdul Rehman and two others,” he said.

Concerned relatives wait for news at JJ Hospital.

Concerned relatives wait for news at JJ Hospital.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

He said, “My brother realised the building was about to crash and tried to run. But a part of the roof fell on his right shoulder and head. He was talking to me when he was stuck under the debris, but after some time his voice went silent.”

Saira Shaikh (20), another victim of the collapse, had recently moved to this building after getting married. Her mother, Shabana Khatun (40), rushed to the JJ hospital from Darukhana. “I recognised her because of her clothes. How can this happen to my child?” Saira was at home while her husband Rehan had gone to buy groceries, when he heard about the accident. “He was inconsolable,” Ms. Khatun said.

The Zariwal family, too, lost two members. Arhan Shehzad, who was asleep as he worked night shifts at the airport, and his niece Kashaf Amirjan (13) died in the collapse. His mother, Sajida, survived and is currently being treated at JJ Hospital.

Arhan’s brother Rizwal said, “My sister Huma was leaving the building when she saw the wall collapse in front of her eyes.”

A weeping Huma said she had asked her mother to throw the keys to her two-wheeler from their first floor home’s balcony. “Just as she threw the key down to me, the building came crashing down. I could not believe my eyes,”she said. Rizwal said they had complained about the building to their landlord several times.

The other deceased included one-and-a-half-year-old Ibrahim, Muzammil Salmani (15), Sana Salmani (25), Zuber Salmani (20) and Javed Ismail (34).

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 2:00:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/after-a-while-my-brothers-voice-went-silent/article28494919.ece

Next Story