As the news of the warehouse fire spread, relatives and neighbours of the workers, belonging to the Kapil Bast village in Nepal, gathered outside the Indira Gandhi Hospital at Bhiwandi on Saturday.
“We all live near the border of Nepal. Many of us have come to Bhiwandi for livelihood. Those who died in the fire have been working at the warehouse for almost 10 years. Many families have lost their sole earning members,” said Sitaram Gupta, 43, one of the neighbours.
Dinesh Choudhary shows a photo of his brother Niraj Kurmi who died in the fire at a timber warehouse in Bhiwandi in Thane. (Praful Gangurde/HT photo)
For the Yadav family, it is a difficult time. While Vinod Yadav managed to escape in time, his brother Munilal died in the blaze.
“When I jumped out, I didn’t know my brother was sleeping inside the warehouse. I got burned and fell unconscious. When I woke up I learned about my brother’s death. I want to go back home at the earliest, as they need me the most,” said Vinod Yadav, who is recuperating at the Thane hospital.
One of the dead, Niraj Prasad Khurmi, was the only earning member of his family in Nepal.
His cousin, Dinesh Chaudhary, 30, who was at the Indira Gandhi Hospital, said, “He had to look after his mother and brother. We don’t know who is to be blamed, but this is an unfortunate incident. His mother is in a state of shock. She doesn’t know he has passed away.
He used to visit Nepal twice in six months. I don’t know how I will face the family. It is very difficult to tell them their son is no more.”
Fireman puts off fire at a timber warehouse in Bhiwandi in Thane. (Praful Gangurde/HT photo)