Mumbra building collapse: Survivors struggle to put the pieces together

Apr 06, 2013, 09:50 IST | Naveen Nair

Thusday night was a nightmare for the 35 families that lived in the under-construction seven storey building in Mumbra, Thane

The structure was reduced to rubble when it collapsed claiming the lives of 51 and injuring 53 others. Many of the injured were rushed to hospitals. Almost 24 hours after the mishap, the victims speak of the horror and the moment their lives were reduced to dust.

Photos: Man-made mayhem shocks Mumbra

'I had a nightmare that my child was crushed'
Hasina Bibi (30) who was brought to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital, Kalwa woke up screaming that she dreamt her child being trapped under the debris. Hasina and her husband Ansar Maulana lived with their six children in the building. The incident claimed the lives of three of their children while two more have been admitted to Sion Hospital with fractures.

Photos: Similar disasters that took place in Mumbai

Hasina Bibi

One of their children is still missing and is feared to be dead. A distraught Hasina said, “My child who is missing may be dead. I just had a nightmare - my child was lying crushed under a slab of concrete. I tried dragging him out but the slab was too heavy.” A portion of the slab fell on Hasina’s right knee causing the leg to swell. When doctors inquired about the pain in her leg, she claimed that she had no sensation in the leg below the knee.

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He never went out to play
Siddique Khan (12), has also been admitted to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital with a fracture to his right leg. His father said, “Both my sons were well behaved boys and always stayed indoors. After returning from school they played with each other and never stepped out of the house.

Siddique Khan

When the building collapsed I was out at work and my kids, as usual, stayed home and got stuck under the debris.” Siddique’s younger brother and mother are safe as they were staying with their relatives during the incident. Siddique said, “I was sitting in the room when suddenly I saw the roof collapsing on us. A portion of the roof fell on my leg and I howled out in pain.”

Only three survive in family of 13
Twenty-eight-year-old Imran Sayyed lies in a hospital bed with multiple fractures. He lived with his three brothers and their families on the fourth floor of the collapsed building. A total of 13 people including their kids were in their rooms when the building collapsed. While Imran survived with a fracture to his right leg, his pregnant wife who was due for delivery next week got crushed under the debris.

Imran Sayyed

Imran said, “I was lying on the cot when I saw the roof collapsing on me and I jumped under the cot to save myself. A portion of the slab fell on my right leg and I saw that my wife who was on the floor had been crushed entirely. I have two children, but I have no news of them so far.” Imran fears all his relatives have died in the incident. However, later in the evening, we received news that his two children had made it alive from under the debris. But, there was no news of his brothers and their families.

Miracle baby
And while most victims speak of the shock, the survival of a 10-month-old baby has been hailed as a miracle. The child was carried out, six hours after the incident, her face white with dust and debris, to the cheers of rescue workers. Currently, the relatives of the victims admitted in the adjacent beds are taking care of the baby.

Miracle baby

Hospital authorities believe either the parents of the baby have died in the calamity or are still stuck under the debris. A senior doctor at the hospital said, “The baby has suffered minor bruises and her condition is stable. So far, nobody has come forward to claim the child and even the residents of the building have not identified her.”

Late last night, rescue workers found three more bodies in the debris, taking the death toll to 51. One of them was an infant, whose leg had been severed. 

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