Every evening they met at Khau Galli in Zaveri Bazaar for a snack. But the four friends didn’t know that they would have to bid goodbye to one of their own on Wednesday evening.
Relatives of Rajesh Khedekar, 28, Ramesh Khedekar, 27, Ashok Bate, 35 and Sundersingh Bisht 30, have stationed themselves in front of the burns unit of JJ Hospital for the past four days.
While Rajesh died on the spot, the other three suffered serious burn injuries and are battling for their lives in the hospital.
Sundersingh, who works as an office boy in a shop at Zaveri Bazaar, suffered 50% burns with a serious leg fracture. “He escaped death during the 2004 blasts at Zaveri Bazaar as he left a little early that day. Luck didn’t favour my brother this time though,” said Kedar Bisht, 36.
Two beds away from Sundersingh, lays Ramesh Khedekar, a peon at a jewellery shop in the same area. He has suffered 32% burns. “I don’t want to lose my husband,” said Khedekar’s wife, Riya. The couple got married a year ago.
The third member of this friends’ group, Ashok also suffered 50% burn injuries.
JJ Hospital has the most number of victims admitted — 24. Nine of them are still critical. “We removed the ventilators of two patients admitted in the critical care unit. After observing them for the next 24 hours we will be shifting them in the ward on Sunday,” said Dr TP Lahane, dean, JJ Hospital.
On Monday, doctors will examine and evaluate the hearing loss of eight patients admitted in the ward who are on their way to recovery, said Lahane.