Veronica Tak
Veronica Tak

Baby Veronica died not due to injuries, but because of the sheer weight of the debris, which left her unable to breathe, said doctors who conducted the post-mortems yesterday. The three-month-old infant was among three victims who died to suffocation, while the rest died due to multiple injuries.

The autopsies were performed by forensic surgeons Dr Shivaji Patil, Dr Pramod Ingle, Dr Amit Chavan, and Dr Girish Tarte, under the supervision of Dr Shivaji Kachare and police surgeon Dr S M Patil. The entire procedure was captured on still camera. Dr Patil said, "Baby Veronica, Mikul Kanchanchandani (20) and Rutvi Shah (14) had sustained very minimal injuries to their body and head, which by themselves would not have been fatal. But these three were deprived of oxygen due to chest compression by the debris, which restricted their respiration and led to their death."

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The surgeons concluded that cause of death for the trio was 'shock due to polytrauma'.

The remaining victims had suffered both internal and external injuries to the face, chest and lower abdomen. "We have concluded that the cause of death in all the remaining cases was due to traumatic asphyxia with polytrauma," said another surgeon.

Even as the autopsies went on, an argument erupted between the local police and a political workers, when they learnt that the police were taking time to prepare the paperwork for the last rites. While 14 bodies were handed over to the next of kin by 8.30 am, three others were handed over by noon. "All the bodies were taken straight to the cremation ground, and the last rites were conducted in a mass funeral," said a local resident.