On New Year’s Eve, Karan Singh, the watchman of a high rise in Parel, spent a tormenting night at KEM hospital, where doctors were trying to save the lives of his kids, five-year-old Babita and 10-year-old Vinod, who had been wheeled in with severe head and limb injuries. The doctors did not succeed in Babita’s case.
Around 5 pm on December 31, the siblings suffered a fall from a high rise in Lalbaug, Meghchaya Apartments, where Singh is employed.
“Vinod and Babita were playing on the bamboo poles (part of an ongoing construction behind the building), when a fight broke out between the two over a locally-made ice pop. He tried to snatch the packet from which she was sipping. And they fell,” said Singh.
The children were rushed to the surgical intensive care unit at the civic-run KEM hospital, where Babita succumbed to her injuries in the wee hours of Tuesday. She had sustained severe head injuries. Vinod, on the other hand, was transferred from the surgical ICU to the orthopaedic ward. His condition is currently stable.
One of the security guards at the building told MiD DAY, “These kids were playing behind the building. There are no witnesses to the accident. We all rushed after hearing about the fall, and found them lying there bleeding.”
He added, “Karan lived with his family in the quarters behind the building. Due to renovation work happening there, he has been living on the building’s terrace for the past two months.”
According to the building’s residents, the children were left unattended when the tragedy occurred. They said that the terrace generally remains locked and the kids could not have fallen from there. The height from which the victims fell has not been ascertained.
Karan Singh, who came to the city around 10 years ago from Nepal, brought Vinod and Babita to the city a couple of years ago.
Singh has a third child who is a year old.
A paediatric surgeon at KEM hospital said, “Vinod suffered injuries to the forehead and fractured his left leg. Babita, who suffered from grievous head injuries, skull fracture and severe internal bleeding due to haemorrhage, died at 2 am on Tuesday.”
An official from Kalachowkie police station said, “The girl, who fell first, succumbed on Tuesday morning at KEM hospital. We have filed an accidental death report (ADR) as the kids fell while playing. As per the information received, the kids were playing in the back of the building grounds, where a bamboo structure stands all the way to the top floor. These kids managed to climb on this structure to a height of about 12 feet and fell after losing balance.”
He added, “The girl fell on her back and the boy on top of her. So he bore less injuries. Both of them fell on the bicycles parked below. We have asked for footage from the CCTV camera installed behind the building to establish details.”
Babita’s postmortem was performed during the day and the body was handed over to the family for cremation.
The postmortem reports were yet to arrive at the time of going to press.