Tragic Monday: ‘Surprised to be still alive’

Survivors tell tragic tale of horror: No compensation as the building was an illegal

Written by Express News Service | Published: September 25, 2012 3:18 am

Survivors tell tragic tale of horror: No compensation as the building was an illegal

Twenty-one-year-old Somnath Mali cannot believe his luck. He was trapped in the ground floor of the four-storeyed building that collapsed at Sahkarnagar on Monday afternoon for more than three hours,and finally managed to escape with no major injuries.

Mali,who stays at Adhegaon Patas with his mother,went to complete the sentring work of the column when the incident occurred. “Mi vachlo. Mala svatala ascharya vatte (I am surprised that I survived),” said Mali,who is undergoing treatment at Bharati Hospital at Dhankawadi.

Deputy Medical Director of Bharati Hospital Dr N Kamat said Mali was lucky as there was nearly an 8-9 inch gap between the slab and the ground floor where he was stuck. He has superficial injuries,including a contusion on the left shoulder. “However,we will keep him under observation,” said Kamat.

NDRF rescues two children,7 others

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team rescued two children of Kamble family and seven others at Sahakar Nagar where a four-storey residential building caved in on Monday.

However,the rescue operation was delayed as the team arrived late at the spot owing to traffic jams and long distance from Talegaon.

NDRF commandant Alok Avasthy,who was in Mumbai for a meeting,said he got a call around 3.30 pm and immediately asked his team to reach the spot and start rescue operation. “A team comprising 45 members and two sniffer dogs (Procter and Deccar) were sent to the spot. The delay in reaching the spot happened due long route from Talegaon and traffic snarls because of the ongoing Ganpati Festival. The unit was prepared with all the equipment to handle any kind of situation,’’he said.

It was only after the team arrived they pulled out two children of Kamble family and seven other people. The team was equipped with air lifting bags,hydraulic cutters and grill cutters. The team members said they have conducted such operations in many parts of the country. The rescue operation was led by by SA Ahmed.

Hospital sends team

A team of four doctors from Bharatiya Vidyapeeth Hospital,including a paediatrician and an orthopaedician,were sent to the spot.

“Instead of waiting at the hospital we had sent our teams to administer primary aid immediately,” Dr Kamat of Bharatiya Vidyapeeth Hospital said.

Susheela Rathod,13,and Bhujibai Rathod,20,were admitted to the hospital but their medical investigations revealed that the injuries were minor in nature.

Samadhan Gopal,26,was admitted to Sassoon General Hospital. He was in a state of shock and had suffered trauma injuries,medical superintendent,Dr D G Kulkarni said. According to the post mortem reports the deaths were due to multiple injuries.

By 10 pm,four more patients were admitted to Bharati Hospital,including 26-year-old Lalitha Rathod,six-year-old Ashok Bhundu,25-year-old Pratima Sahu and 25-year-old Chandu Rathod.

“They have suffered blunt injuries in the abdomen,head injuries and fracture of the pelvis,” Kamat said.

In all a total of nine persons injured in the building collapse were admitted to the Bharati Hospital.

Compensation only in case of natural calamity: Administration

The district revenue division officials who were coordinating the entire operations on behalf of the state said compensations are announced only in case of natural calamity.

“The building was under the jurisdiction of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and it was an illegal construction. They did not respond to the notice that we had issued. We are only coordinating the operations,” the officials said.

A district administration official said,“We would start our drive after September 30 once the Ganpati celebrations are over. It is believed that even after the commissioner had issued notice they did not have the police manpower for executing the anti-encroachment operations.” The district administration said that they would take adequate care while implementing their drive.

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