Rajendra Gupta, a businessman from Pitampura, has been stony-faced since 6:30 pm — the time he heard of his wife’s death.
Rajni Gupta, his wife, had gone to her parent’s home in Karol Bagh on Saturday. She though the bedspreads and curtains in the house were old and that’s when she decided to go shopping. Little did she know it would be her last shopping trip.
Rajni was in Gaffar Market, a few metres away from where the first bomb exploded. She was declared brought dead at the Sir Ganga Ram hospital.
“My brother hasn’t cried since he came to know about my bhabi’s death. He has become expressionless,” said an inconsolable Santosh Bansal.
Dayaram’s tale wasn’t very different. Little did he know playing truant would save his life. He sells fruits with his uncle in Karol Bagh but he shirked work on Saturday. From TV channels he discovered there was blast in Karol Bagh.
A neighbour vendor told him his uncle was among the dead and was rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.
“I came here hoping he would be alive but destiny had death written for him and life for me. I am not sure whether to rejoice for my life or cry for him,” he said sobbing.
Another street vendor from Karol Bagh, Muhammad Ashraf, also lost his uncle, Kasim Ahmed in the same blast. He was helping his uncle unload the items when he heard the loud bang. Before he knew it, he was on the street covered in dust and his uncle lay beside him— dead—in a pool of blood. They were rushed to RML hospital.
Ashraf’s cousin is also battling for life at the hospital. Distraught and helpless, Asraf did not know how to go back home and face his family. “What do I do? I am only praying that my brother comes out alive,” he said.
Among others who died in the blast are Tejindra Singh Lovely and Pawan who were brought to Jeevan Mala Hospital near Karol Bagh. “Their skulls were totally shattered and brains were hanging loose when they were brought in,” said Dr Sudhir Kalhan, senior surgeon at Jeevan Mala hospital.
Most blast victims were brought to RML, the closest hospital to the blast sites. About 115 were brought in, of who nine are dead and 35 are in critical state.
Eleven people were taken to Gangaram hospital — one died soon after admission. Lady Hardinge registered five deaths and six burn injuries.
Jessa Ram hospital also registered four deaths and 22 wounded. Victims were also taken to several other hospitals including AIIMS and Safdarjung.