Juhu Building Fire: Family, friends come to look for living and dead

Sep 08, 2017, 11:03 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

Relatives of the cylinder blast victims visit accident site and Cooper hospital to check on their loved ones

Shanta Maji (in yellow shirt) came looking for his 17-year-old son Manoj
Shanta Maji (in yellow shirt) came looking for his 17-year-old son Manoj

Following the cylinder blast at the under-construction Prarthana building in Juhu, relatives and friends of the victims visited the accident spot on Thursday morning to check on their loved ones.

Where's my son?
Shanta Maji, a labourer hailing from Odisha, came looking at the site of the explosion for his son Manoj, 17. "We came to Mumbai three months ago. Manoj used to beg in Kandivli, but on Tuesday, he came to this construction site as a lot of our villagers were working here. Most of them are my relatives."

Five of Maji's relatives used to work at the construction site as labourers. Manoj was visiting them. "I have been trying his mobile number since Wednesday night, but it is not reachable. On Thursday morning, I got a call from my village about a blast at the construction site, so I came here. I was told the injured had been taken to Cooper hospital."

When Maji went to Cooper, there was a list of the deceased in the casualty section, which had six unclaimed bodies, since they were charred beyond recognition. One of those was that of a 17-year-old male; Maji still doesn't know if it was Manoj.

Meanwhile, Asunta Lakda, 23, a native of Jharkhand, burst into tears when firemen told her about the blast on Thursday morning.

"I knew four people who worked here, all from my village in Jharkhand," said Lakda, who works as a domestic help.

"One of them, Suresh Kindo, is my boyfriend. I was trying to call him since last night but could not get through. So I decided to come here, but when I reached, I was told about the fire."

When Asunta went to Cooper Hospital, she was relieved to find Kindo's name on the list of the injured.

Probe living conditions
The Vile Parle Labour Union, comprising nearly 200 members, wants the living conditions of the labourers working in under construction buildings to be investigated. Union member Shyam Koothuri, said, "We will investigate and see the living conditions in which the workers were made to live in and work at the site." Deputy secretary Ramrao Yemla said, "The contractor must be held responsible for not providing adequate fire safety measures. We are going to question the police and the builders."

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