Six days after 22-year-old Sonali Sakpal was swept away by floods at Kurar village in Malad, the search for her continued on Sunday.
Early last Tuesday, a wall had collapsed at Pimpri Pada and Ambedkar Nagar in Malad East and water from BMC’s Malad Hill Reservoir washed away homes in adjoining settlements, killing at least 27 people and injuring 132 others.
On Sunday, Sunil Sakpal (40), Sonali’s father, took discharge from Kandivali Shatabdi hospital to look for his daughter. “I don’t know what the fire brigade or the search teams did in the last five days. My daughter was swept away from me when our hut was flooded,” he said.
When the wall collapsed and water flooded their hut, Sunil was swept away along with wife Sunita (35) and Sonali, the eldest among their three children. Sunil was rescued by local residents and Sunita was found a few metres down the slope. Both suffered injuries with Sunita having scratch marks all over her body, as she hit multiple objects when she fell down.
Their son Sachin (21) was trapped under the debris of their own hut with younger sister Rupali (19). All four were admitted in Kandivali Shatabdi hospital. A day later relatives informed them that Sonali was still missing.
Sonali, who worked in an imitation jewellery making unit in Malad, had her name tattooed on her left hand. She wore a blue and white polka dress to sleep on Monday night. Apart from the tattooed arm, a black chain she wore could also help in identifying her.
On Sunday, Sunil decided to seek discharge despite a swollen eye and multiple abrasions. “I feel weak and breathless. But what can I do? My daughter is still missing. I don’t know where to go looking for her, but I have to go near the site,” Sunil said.
Sachin said, “I have a fracture in arm. Doctors have advised me against discharge, but we have no home to go to.”
A fire brigade official said the entire collapse site has been cleared but no trapped body has been found inside. Residents have also searched the narrow nullah flowing past the slum to look for a polka dotted dress.
Over 65 people injured in the incident remained hospitalised till Sunday across five hospitals in Mumbai.