Kumkum Singh (45) was on her way to Varanasi’s Cantonment railway station along with her husband to drop their aspiring engineer-son there en route to Kota on Tuesday when a concrete slab from an under construction flyover fell on their car. She survived with a minor head injury. Her husband and retired Indian Air Force (IAF) officer, R B Singh (46) and son Vaibhav (15) were not as lucky. They were crushed to death as the car’s front side took the maximum impact.
“They were going to drop Vaibhav to the station. He had come home for a few days from Kota, where he was preparing for engineering entrance. He was supposed to go back on Tuesday,” said Jai Prakash Singh, a retired IAF officer and a neighbour of the Singhs in Varanasi’s Kanchanpura.
He said he spoke to Kumkum, who told him she was sitting in the back seat. She found ample space between the seat and the car’s crushed ceiling to breathe. The seat buffered her from the slab’s impact.
Doctors and neighbours, who spoke to Kumkum at Homi Bhabha Cancer hospital’s emergency ward, said she refused to go home. “I am absolutely fine. I will stay here. I am living and I will live because I was destined to while my husband and son died in front of my eyes. So do not tell me I need to rest,” she was quoted as saying.
The neighbours said she was repeatedly breaking down saying she will not go without seeing her son and husband’s faces.
Doctors, neighbours and policemen were consoling Kumkum at the hospital’s emergency room while the bodies of her son and husband lay along with two other unidentified bodies in an adjoining room. Kumkum was the only injured person at the ward even as it is the closest hospital to the accident site.