At 1:30pm on Friday, the Durga Nagar junction was full of activity. People were out on their lunch break, pedestrians were milling about near the many shops there, and residents of the slum pocket were chatting outside their houses.
It took only a few moments for the runaway dumper to transform the scene.
“I was walking towards my house when I heard a bang. I saw the dumper mindlessly hitting at least four autorickshaws, a van, a motorbike and a taxi. The vehicles were cast aside,” said Anand Thakur, 36, a social worker. “One vehicle hit the footpath, another turned turtle and a third started spinning at the spot. I could not believe my eyes.”
Passersby watched, horrified, as the enormous vehicle ran over Chandrabhabha Jadhav, 50, and her son Arun, 35, as they sat on the footpath eating lunch.
“The two of them [Chandrabhabha and Arun] would eat there every day. I greeted them, but went back to my garage as my boss called out. Seconds later, I turned to see them lying in a pool of blood,” said Shyam Patel, 39, an automobile mechanic.
As the rampage continued, the dumper hit an Innova, which crashed into a Swift Dzire ahead of it, sparking off a domino effect that damaged 12 cars. As locals rushed to help the injured, the driver ran.
“We did not even notice that driver had fled. The accident was so massive that we only rushed to help the people,” said Sonu Ali, 18, who works at a welding shop nearby. “The cars were mangled and we had to pull people out through the windows or break open the doors. It was complete chaos till the police and ambulance arrived.”