The floor caved in under me: Kalwa bldg crash survivor | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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The floor caved in under me: Kalwa bldg crash survivor

mumbai Updated: Aug 18, 2010 01:52 IST
Susamma Kurian

Reeta Banik (40) has been inconsolable ever since she left her 16-year-old daughter Mausmi behind and rushed out of her house.

The moment she stepped out, the three-storeyed Sonibai Bhawan collapsed behind her.

The Baniks have been staying at the building for the past four years.

It was Reeta's husband Sujal (44) who first realised something was seriously wrong.

"My two-year-old son and I were sleeping when there was a loud noise. When I went down to see what had happened, I noticed a huge crack in the wall. I ran upstairs, grabbed my son and told my wife to get out with Mausmi. Though Reeta got out, Mausmi said she would come after changing her clothes. Within seconds the building collapsed. Reeta was stuck near the staircase but was immediately rescued," Sujal said.

The family learnt of Mausmi's death an hour later.

The worst affected family was that of the Raikars, who resided on the second floor. They lost five members of the family. Residing next to the Raikars were the Girgi brothers, who used to repair jewellery.

"We felt the tremors in the morning. Since the building is old, cracks keep developing.

So when the new cracks developed after the tremor, we didn't take it seriously. But, when we came to know about the tremors, we decided to vacate. We had removed all our belongings and were in the process

of helping the Raikars out, when the building collapsed. By God's grace, my brother was saved and because of him I was saved," said Bapuji Girgi (25).

Dhananjay Seth, one of the injured, used to work with the Girgi brothers.

The youngest among the injured – Swapnil Keni (18) – was about to inform his friend in the same building about the cracks when the building collapsed.

"I saw some people shifting their belongings and I told my mother, who was praying, to get out of the building. She asked me to wait till she finished her prayer. I was in the balcony trying to call up my friend when the floor beneath me just collapsed and I fell," said Keni, who lost his father four months ago.

Tuesday's crash was the third in Kalwa this year.