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Alive only because my time hasn’t come yet: Kolkata accident survivor

india Updated: Apr 02, 2016 13:10 IST
HT Correspondent
Kolkata flyover collapse

Anil Sonkar, a driver with Uber cab company, was one of the lucky survivors of the Kolkata flyover collapse incident.(HT Photo)

Like any other day 25-year old Anil Sonkar left his home around 12.15pm on Thursday and parked his car on Vivekananda Road to have a cup of tea.

After a five-minute break at a local tea stall, Sonkar — who is an Uber driver — began looking for passengers on his smartphone. But Thursday was no ordinary day for him. As he was moving towards Girish Park and reached the Vivekananda Road – Rabindra Sarani crossing, he heard noise and noticed the dust falling on his windscreen.

Out of curiosity, Sonkar looked out of his car window. Before he could realise what was happening, he felt something crashing on his car. “Suddenly I realised that I was trapped under a pile of something solid. Fortunately the roof of the car saved me from those solid structures. But I could feel the pain on my neck and face. I was facing severe breathing problem,” he said.

The under-construction flyover near Burrabazar area partially collapsed on Thursday, killing 24 and injuring around 90 people.

Read | Stories of narrow escape emerge from Kolkata flyover collapse site

Sonkar’s head was stuck between the car’s roof and the back rest of the driver’s roof. Fortunately, he was still able to pick up his mobile phone. Sonkar managed to call a friend and switch on the speaker of the phone.

“Thankfully, the call got connected to Ranjit, a neighbourhood friend. He rushed to the spot and alerted a few locals,” Sonkar said. He lay inside the car for 45 minutes. Ranjit and others broke open the car door.

A wooden plank was placed between the seat and the roof and Ranjit pulled him out by placing a towel on his face to avoid cuts and scratches.

“I still don’t know how I managed to escape. I feel it’s only because my time had not come yet,” said Sonkar. He who later shifted to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital for treatment.

Read | Design flaw not ‘Act of God’ brought down Kolkata flyover, say experts

Read \ Tainted past: Kolkata flyover builder IVRCL was blacklisted in Jharkhand