Mumbai: ‘Doctor had come from Scotland as mum was unwell’

24 October,2023 07:32 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Eshan Kalyanikar

Relative of deceased says this was family’s first trip to India after years; kin of caretaker says parents unaware of her plight

Family members of the deceased at Shatabdi Hospital in Kandivli

Key Highlights

Dr Glory Valthaty was visiting her family in Kandivli with her husband, Noel Roberts, son Joshua and daughter Faith and this was the first time in years that the family had come to India from Scotland, her relatives told mid-day.

"They were here for just two weeks because Glory's mother was unwell," said Gladsten Behra, Noel's cousin who had come to Mumbai from Kolkata on October 17 to meet the family.

He added that Dr Glory's brother Paul and some other family members, including Faith, were climbing down the stairs before the fire started. "Just as they reached the first floor, they realised that a fire had broken out," Behra said.

At the time of the incident, Noel, along with Dr Glory and her parents, were inside their fourth-floor residence with their son and two workers.

"Noel stayed back with Glory's parents, as her mother needed assistance and asked her to take the children and the two workers up to the terrace," Behra said. However, the four made the decision to run down in a bid to escape. "All of them were found unconscious on the first floor by the rescue team," the cousin said.

Burden of truth

Dr Glory's daughter has very little idea about the single biggest tragedy of her life. The bodies of her mother and her brother were sent to Bhagwati Hospital for a post-mortem.

Also read: Mumbai: In panic, they succumbed to the smoke and heat

Meanwhile, Pravin Mule, the cousin of Rajeshwari Bhartare, rushed to the hospital as soon as he could after hearing what had happened. "Her parents live in Yavatmal; I told them she is sick and in the hospital. They do not know yet," he said.

At the hospital, her parents kept calling, requesting an update on their daughter's condition, but Pravin did not have the heart to tell them the truth. "How can I tell them something like this when they are not even here?"

The doctors have told him the chances of her survival are slim. Rajeshwari had moved to Mumbai just a few months ago from Hyderabad and was affiliated with a private company that provided elderly care.

"She was transferred here and worked in their house as a caretaker of the senior citizen," Mule said.

The domestic worker, Laxmi, also hails from a remote place. Some of her relatives live in Dahisar and could only manage to get to the hospital by evening.

‘Was disturbed by what I saw'

Binod Mukhiya, one of the first people to reach the spot after the blaze broke out, told mid-day, "My wife washes utensils for some residents in the building. As soon as I came to know of the fire, I rushed thinking my wife was also trapped. Luckily, she had left the premises some time back. I am not sure when the fire brigade was told about the fire but they arrived about 15-20 minutes after I reached. I tried entering the premises quickly. The visuals were very disturbing and I could only see smoke. It was very difficult to see which floor the fire had spread to."

A shopkeeper, Rahul More, said, "I came to know about the fire as soon as I heard the chaos. I shut down my shop and ran towards the spot, which is nearby. I spotted many two-wheelers parked on the roadside. Acting on instinct, I started removing all the vehicles which would have also caught fire. Sadly, fire officials arrived almost half an hour after the fire broke out."

Oct 17
Day Gladsten Behra came to city

Inputs by Prasun Chaudhari

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!
kandivli mumbai mumbai news news brihanmumbai municipal corporation maharashtra
Related Stories