Boy who captured the Mumbra building collapse video speaks up

Oct 07, 2013, 05:23 IST | Richa Pinto

Fifteen-year-old Hassan Qureshi was casually taking a video of Banoo building in Mumbra when he saw it crumble; while the video went viral within days, the boy is grieving for his uncle, who died in the collapse

In the wake of the collapse of Banoo building in Jeevan Baug, Mumbra, an unsettling video went viral on messenger services in phones across the city. The short video shows the building come down like a stack of cards. Few know that it was shot by a young teenaged boy, who lost his uncle in the same collapse, and had the misfortune of inadvertently filming an incident that caused the death of a beloved relative.

To see the video footage that Hassan Qureshi captured

Fifteen-year-old Hassan Qureshi, who lives in a chawl diagonally opposite Banoo building, filmed the 14-minute-long video from the first floor of his home.

Hassan Qureshi, who lives in a chawl diagonally opposite Banoo building, filmed the 14-minute-long video from the first floor of his home.

The teenager, who is still mourning the loss of his uncle, recounted the incident: “In the early hours of September 21, my aunt Shirin and my grandparents, who live in a second-floor apartment of Banoo building, came over to our place, saying that they had heard some strange sounds coming from their building and seen some plaster falling. As the other residents of the building were vacating their homes, they said that they would wait at our place till everything settled down. They did not remotely suspect that the entire building would come crashing down.”

Hassan’s uncle, however, stayed back in the apartment in the doomed building, unaware that it was on the brink of collapse. Hassan added, “I took my aunt’s mobile and started shooting a video of the building, just for fun. We were all saying that plaster falling from the ceiling does not mean that the entire structure will collapse. Thirteen minutes after I had started recording the video, the building suddenly started crumbling, and within seconds, it finally collapsed.” At this point, all that the boy could think of was his uncle, sleeping in his apartment in the collapsing building.

The site of the building collapse. Pics/Sameer Markande

Hassan’s mother and aunt Shirin broke down immediately, anxious about their brother. “My mother panicked, but we did not think that we would lose him forever. Even now, when we see the horrifying video, all we can think of is my brother, whom we have lost forever,” said an emotional Shirin, who is living with her sister now. Moinuddin was the only brother of six sisters.

Hassan added that the he hadn’t in his wildest dreams anticipated that the building would collapse, as he filmed it. “The video that is circulating is barely 30-seconds-long, in which the building can be seen falling like a stack of cards. The minute the entire building fell, we left the mobile and rushed to the spot to search for my uncle,” said Hassan. The family was hopeful till they actually saw Moinuddin’s body.

Asked how the video went viral, he said, “Even while we were waiting for my uncle to come out alive, we sent it to a few acquaintances through Whatsapp. I cut it a little, as it was too long. In a day or two, everyone seemed to have the video.” 

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