Pune landslide: Grieving youth helps cops identify the dead
For Deepak Zanjre (27), a helper at a Pune-based automobile multinational, yesterday was supposed to be just another day at work. But his life changed forever when he received a call around 9 am, informing him of a landslide in Ambegaon tehsil that had buried his entire village, Malin.
Raining death: Heavy rainfall led to a chunk of a hillock crashing down onto the village Malin, burying 48 houses and trapping at least 160 people. Pics/Nitin Lawate
Worried about his family, Deepak left for the village straightaway, only to reach after the bodies of his mother Rakhma and sister Deepali were extracted from under the debris.
Grief-struck: Sakharam Zanjre and his son-in-law Vitthal Titkare at the primary health Centre at Adigare. Both lost their wives in the landslide.
Deepak’s father Sakharam, brother Rahul and brother-in-law Vitthal Titkare were, however, saved from major injuries as they were out, working in the fields.
Political leaders, including CM Prithviraj Chavan, Dy CM Ajit Pawar, state Cooperative Minister Harshavardhan Patil and Madhukar Pichad, reached Ambegaon tehsil 12 hours after the landslide
Both were admitted with minor injuries to a primary health centre at Adiware about 2 km away. But, for both, the real injury lay in losing their loved ones in the incident.
Digging deep: The rescue operation was conducted at a slow pace because there were chances of heavy earth-moving machinery injuring those trapped under the debris
“I was in the fields when my son (Rahul) came screaming that a mountain had come crashing down on our home. When we reached the area, my wife, Rakhma, who was stuck under the debris, was calling for help,” Sakharam recalled.
Shattered: An old lady tries to salvage her household belongings
Vitthal and his wife, Deepali, had only arrived in the village the day before the landslide, and so the news of her passing shocked him even more.
Help arrives: 30 ambulances with medical teams were mobilised to transport survivors to the nearest government-run medical centres
Deepak, who was reeling from the grief of having lost both his mother and sister in the landslide, did not even have enough time to fully absorb what had happened.
Instead, he rose to the occasion, and helped the police identify the bodies of other dead villagers so that their final rites could begin.