Injured devotees thank Ganesha

The seven people, who were hurt when a roof collapsed, claim it was divine intervention that saved them

"Thank you Bappa, otherwise God knows what would have happened," said the people, who were injured when the roof of a shop at Lalbaug caved in on Sunday.

Thousands of devotees had thronged to Lalbaug on Sunday to bid goodbye to the famous Lalbaugcha Raja. In an attempt to get one final glimpse of the deity, many climbed up on the roofs of shops and buses. However, tragedy struck when part of the roof collapsed at 1.30 pm injuring seven devotees and killing one. The injured were immediately shifted to KEM Hospital, Parel. Five of the injured were discharged on the same day owing to minor injuries whereas two others were still in the hospital, as they were unconscious.

Recounting the horror, Shyali More (13), a resident of Ghatkopar, who had come to her her aunt's home for a darshan, said, "We were standing at the balcony watching the procession. My aunt forced me to go closer to the rooftop to get a glimpse of Bappa. All of a sudden, the balcony collapsed and we got hurt. It is thanks to Ganesha that we only suffered minor injuries."

Pradeep Sonawane, a resident from Virar, said, "I was standing near the shop when the rooftop fell on my head injuring my back. I was rescued by the committee members and was kept on the stage for one-and-a-half hour, as it was crowded. I am not able to sit due to the back injury, but I am glad to be alive even though the entire roof fell on me."

Harshad Kale, Assistant Commissioner of F-South ward said, "The devotees were standing on the roof of a shop. It got overcrowded and when it couldn't bear the weight, it collapsed. We had warned the devotees not to stand on the roof, but they did not listen."

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