Six days after 22-year-old Sonali Sakpal was swept away by floods at Kurar village in Malad, her body was found near Versova beach on Sunday night.
“My father had taken discharge yesterday to look for her body. I don’t know how her body was found on the beach. Why did no one look first in the nallah?” said Sachin, Sonali’s brother.
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. The wall collapse, causing excess water to flood the settlement, destroyed over 65 huts in Pimpri Pada and double the count in Ambedkar Nagar.
Since then, the Mumbai fire brigade was searching for Sonali in the debris of Ambedkar Nagar where her hut was washed away. On Sunday night, the police informed Sonali’s family that her body had swept through Malad creek and was found near Versova beach.
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 her tattooed arm, a black chain Sonali wore also helped in identifying her.
When the wall collapsed and water flooded their hut, Sunil Sakpal was swept away along with wife Sunita (35) and Sonali, the eldest in amongst three children. Sakpal was rescued by locals and wife Sunita was found a few meters down the slope. Both suffered minor injuries.
Sunita has scratches 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. All four were admitted in Kandivali Shatabdi hospital. A day later, the relatives informed them that Sonali was still missing.
On Sunday, Sakpal decided to seek discharge despite a swollen eye and multiple abrasions to look for his daughter.
Sonali’s friend and co-worker, Vidya More, said that the final rites would be held in Malad on Monday.