Of the 19 Dead, A Migrant Worker Loses 3 Brothers, A Family of 3 Wiped Out; Surviver Recalls Incident

When a four-storey building partially collapsed in Mumbai’s Kurla East, two flats on each floor remained intact while the other two flats on the same floor collapsed. At least 19 people were killed and 13 injured after the collapse.

One of those who survived was 27-year-old Satish Kshetre, a driver who lived on the third floor of the building for five years. At the time of the collapse, he was watching a movie with his family members and guests, a report in The Indian Express said.

“It felt like an earthquake and then I saw outside my door and two rooms in the front, along with half the building, collapsed in front of my eyes. I panicked and told my family we were all going to die. But then the noise stopped, ”Kshetre reportedly said.

“I told my family to stay calm. I went to the door and saw the debris. I called for help and the other residents, who were shouting from the other side, came to our door. They helped us. We all jumped on the debris of the collapsed structure, which would have been about eight to 10 feet high, ”he added.

He further said the building chairman had asked them to vacate the building by June 30. “We had also found a new place on rent and were in the process of moving out. We own a property in a slum, which is stuck in SRA for 10 years, so we have no alternative, ”Kshetre said.

However, not everyone in the building was as lucky as Kshetres. In the same building, all three members of the Gaikwad family, Prahlad, his wife Leelabai and their son Ajinkya died. Ajinkya is survived by two sisters, his wife and minor son, who lived separately. Upon seeing the bodies of their parents and brother, the two sisters burst into tears.

Meanwhile, 35-year-old Sanjay Majhi, a carpenter from Bihar who was pulled out of the rubble was waiting at the hospital for the bodies of these brothers. Majhi was hopeful that his three brothers, who lived with him, would be rescued.

However, his brothers’ bodies were among the five pulled out of the rubble and brought to the hospital. Majhi was sleeping alongside his three brothers and other co-workers on the second floor of the building when it collapsed. Of the 10 men sleeping in the room, seven died and only four, including Majhi, survived.

The building had been declared dilapidated once but later held to be ‘reparable’, collapsed in Mumbai’s Kurla area around Monday midnight.

Following the incident, another building in the complex of four buildings, Naik Nagar Housing Society, was evacuated as it too was deemed dangerous, and was later demolished by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

According to senior BMC officials, residents of the building, constructed in 1973, had undertaken to carry out repairs, but apparently no repairs were carried out.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray declared ex gratia aid of Rs 5 lakh each for the families of the deceased from the CM’s Relief Fund.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief at the loss of lives and announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured.

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