Heavy rains that lashed the city on Friday were a welcome respite for Mumbaiites after the scorching summer. But while most people revelled in the showers, they proved to be the death knell for two youngsters in Bhandup. While the duo lost their lives following a wall collapse, other two men who were with them sustained severe injuries. The incident occurred at 9:30 pm on Friday when an 18-inch-high wall of the Suncity shopping complex near Kajutekdi slum collapsed.
The deceased have been identified as Rahul Gaikwad (20) and Ravindra Ghanekar (31), while the injured are Sunil Jadhav and Manik Jadhav. All four were residents of the Kajutekdi slum.
Sandeep Gaikwad, a resident of the slum, said, “We retrieved Ravindra’s body from the debris before the fire brigade arrived. But Rahul’s body could be recovered by them only at around 3.45 am.”
The duo was declared dead on admission at M T Agarwal hospital in Mulund. While one of the injured, Sunil, was admitted to Devika hospital in Bhandup, Manik was taken to Vardhaman hospital in the vicinity.
Jagdish Jadhav, a resident of the slum, attributed the main reason of the collapse to water accumulation. He said, “While building the shopping complex two years ago, the developer reduced the 4X4 opening of the drainage outlet. Gradually water started accumulating and this created immense pressure against the wall due to which it collapsed. Also the garbage would get choked due to the narrow opening of the drainage. On Friday night, all the four residents were trying to remove the garbage when the mishap occurred. We had complained to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to clear the drain but no one took any action.”
Sunil Jadhav (30), who has sustained severe injuries on his head, back, knee and feet, said, “We were removing the clogged garbage when the wall collapsed within two-three minutes.”
Gaikwad is survived by his mother and six sisters. “He had just got the results of his HSC exam. He had failed in one subject; and was slated to repeat the paper. Our mother works as a maid. If Rahul would have been alive, he would have supported our family in the future,” said Sakshi Bavlekar, his sister. Ghanekar is survived by his two brothers and three sisters. An FIR has been registered against the developer at Bhandup police station.