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Mumbai building collapse: ‘That’s my niece Kashaf’s’ – woman cries as rescue workers pull out blue blanket

Till late Tuesday afternoon, rescue efforts to extricate those trapped on first and second floors of the building proved difficult as the narrow lanes prevented the firefighters from bringing in any heavy machinery to lift the debris.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai |
July 17, 2019 2:41:07 am
mumbai building collapse, building collpase, dongri building collpase, building collapse in mumbai today, building collapse in mumbai, mumbai building collapse 2019, mumbai building collapse today, mumbai dongri building, mumbai dongri building news, mumbai dongri building collapse, maharashtra building collapse, mumbai building collapse death toll Shaheen Zariwala’s mother Sajida Zariwala (62), niece Kashaf Azad (12), and brother Arshan Zariwala (25) were all trapped under the debris.

Three hours after the rescue operations began, a pink fluffy pillow was pulled out from the debris. A little later, as a blue blanket was recovered, Shaheen Zariwala, clad in a burkha, let out a scream. “That is my niece Kashaf’s.”

Six hours after Kesarbai Mansion collapsed, the lifeless body of Kashaf Azad,12, was recovered from the debris. A little later, 18-month-old Ibrahim Salmani was found next to his mother Sana — both declared dead soon after.

On Tuesday, minutes before the building collapsed in congested Dongri, Shaheen was on her two-wheeler. Her mother had thrown her the keys from the balcony and she was about to drive off when a shower of dust first fell on her. Shaheen abandoned her Activa and ran. Seconds later the building came crashing down swallowing her bike. Her mother Sajida Zariwala (62), niece Kashaf Azad (12), and brother Arshan Zariwala (25) were all trapped under the debris.

mumbai building collapse, building collpase, dongri building collpase, building collapse in mumbai today, building collapse in mumbai, mumbai building collapse 2019, mumbai building collapse today, mumbai dongri building, mumbai dongri building news, mumbai dongri building collapse, maharashtra building collapse, mumbai building collapse death toll 18-month-old Ibrahim Salmani and his mother Sana were found dead.

Kashaf was sleeping with Sajida on the first floor of the Kesarbai Mansion. The child had fever for the last three days, so her mother, Huma, had decided to shift Kashaf to her mother’s house in the building located across the lane. “She had skipped school for the last two days,” Huma, Shaheen’s sister, said.

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Read | Narrow lanes bar machines, human chain clears debris

As the search team removed one article after another, handing it over to the local residents, Shaheen, stood on a red stool on the opposite doorway shouting and pointing at spots where her family could possibly be. First an iron was pulled out, then a pink pillow and then a blue blanket — all belonging to the family.

“She (Kashaf) slept with this (blue) blanket yesterday,” Shaheen cried.

Till late Tuesday afternoon, rescue efforts to extricate those trapped on first and second floors of the building proved difficult as the narrow lanes prevented the firefighters from bringing in any heavy machinery to lift the debris.

Kashaf’s father Aamir tried to stand atop the debris, desperately tryying to hear his daughter’s cry for help, but heard nothing.

Mujib Khan, who passed bricks, crates and boulders feverishly from the collapse site, said, “We are handing the debris one by one till we can clear the space.”

Also read | In 37 years, 894 people died in accidents involving MHADA buildings

In the evening, Kashaf’s body was found. Doctors at JJ hospital said she had died around two hours ago. Soon after, her uncle Arshan’s body was also recovered.

Her grandmother, Sajida, was found trapped in a gap amid the collapsed structure, her breathing shallow. The senior citizen was rushed to JJ hospital, where doctors said her condition was serious.

mumbai building collapse, building collpase, dongri building collpase, building collapse in mumbai today, building collapse in mumbai, mumbai building collapse 2019, mumbai building collapse today, mumbai dongri building, mumbai dongri building news, mumbai dongri building collapse, maharashtra building collapse, mumbai building collapse death toll Three-year-old Abdul Rehman was among the first to be rescued.

Like Kashaf, 18-month-old Ibrahim Salmani was trapped for hours with his mother Sana (25). As their bodies were extricated, Ibrahim remained wrapped in a green and red bedsheet.

Bodies of two other members of the Salmani family — Muzammil (14) and Zuber (20) — were also recovered. Seven members of the family were in their second-floor house when the building had collapsed.

Ibrahim’s father Naved, who works at a salon, however, escaped with a fracture.

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