Those who made it out of Tarique Gardens in Mahad before it came crashing down on Monday say it was Naveed Duste who had raised an alarm when he saw the five-storey structure was about to give way.
“He was near the parking lot and when the building started to shake, he alerted everyone, after which people started running out of the building. He must have saved at least 30-35 lives,” said Sajid Pore, whose mother Farida Pore suffered a head injury while leaving the building but got out in the nick of time.
The 32-year-old Duste lies in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Navi Mumbai’s Apollo Hospital after his right leg, which was stuck under a collapsed column of the building, had to be amputated. Duste did not live in Tarique Garden but happened to be near it when the tragedy struck at about 6.30 pm on Monday. He lived in Pansare Mohalla, five minutes away from the site of the collapse, his cousin Fahim Pathan said.
“Duste was waiting in the parking lot for my brother Sameer, who is his friend. He saw the building shake and yet instead of running away he ran right on top and got as many people out as he could. He held my mother by the hand and brought her out from the second floor. She is a heart patient and cannot run fast, but he brought her out when the building came crashing down. My mother also got hurt on the head but Duste got trapped under the rubble,” said Pore.
Duste has a wife and an eight-year-old son. He works as an electrician, his friend Pathan said. “His right leg under his knee had to be amputated. Both his legs were trapped under a column that fell. He was trying to help people get out and he saw the first and second columns crumble and the third one fell on him. Since his left leg was folded, it wasn’t very badly hurt but on his right leg, doctors said there was excessive nerve damage,” Pathan said, adding that the doctors have said that Duste will have to be in the hospital for at least another six days.
Dr Atul Adaniya, director, medical services, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, said, “Duste was brought in a critical condition with severe injuries on his limb. His life was saved post the surgery but due to the severity of the injury, one limb had to be amputated. He is under close observation and is receiving monitored care.”
Pathan said that Duste’s family members, including his wife, had accompanied them to Mumbai and were staying with his sister in Mumbra. He said Duste had gained consciousness after the surgery and he asked about the well being of his family.
Nazim has sought donations to help his cousin Duste get back up on his feet. Pore said, “He is an electrician, but he didn’t have much work during the lockdown. He saved so many lives and we must also do all we can to help him rebuild his life.”
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