Operator had complained about lift, says his son

Rakesh Sakpal sat quietly in a corner of a hall adjacent to the post mortem centre at Sion Hospital, waiting to claim the body of his father Rajaram, 57, who was killed in the accident at La Sonarisa building on Sunday.

Sakpal was the operator of the temporary elevator that came crashing down killing five workers and injuring one.

“The accident was inevitable,” twenty-seven-year-old Sakpal said, wiping his moist eyes.

“My father had told me this several times in the last four months. He had said the lift will cause a tragedy some day.”

Rajaram lived in Ambernath with his three sons and had been working at La Sonarisa building for the last five years.

Rakesh, who works for a leading pharmaceutical firm, claimed that his father had complained to his superiors that once the lift crossed the 15th floor, it would start shaking. “Since he was the lift operator, he would be inside the lift almost all day.  He did not want to continue this job because of the risk involved and wanted to quit,” Rakesh said.

He said he had convinced his father to continue working at the site. “I thought it will keep him active and occupied since he was ageing. Besides, the job did not involve heavy labour. And since the work at the building had almost come to an end, we did not bother much,” he said.

Rakesh alleged that though his father had complained to his superiors several times, nobody did anything about the elevator. “The condition of the lift never changed. His complaints fell on deaf ears.”

Sunday was Rajaram’s weekly day off but he went to work because he wanted to take leave for a wedding in the family later this month.


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