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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

‘He loved his bike, went to get it, never came back’, says father of deceased

Fifteen-twenty minutes after they climbed up the building, despite fire officials’ requests to not go anywhere near the premises, the fourth floor came crashing down.

mumbai Updated: Aug 25, 2019 03:54 IST
Sajana Nambiar
Sajana Nambiar
Hindustan Times, Bhiwandi
Mohammad Habib Shaikh, father of Aaqib Shaikh, holds his deceased son’s photo in a cellphone.
Mohammad Habib Shaikh, father of Aaqib Shaikh, holds his deceased son’s photo in a cellphone. (Praful Gangurde/ HT Photo)
         

Even after the 22 families residing in building number 2407 Nagaon 1 were evacuated on Friday night, 22-year-old Mohammad Aaqib Shaikh decided to go up to his fourth floor house to recover his bike, the first vehicle in his family, risking his life and that of seven others.

Fifteen-twenty minutes after they climbed up the building, despite fire officials’ requests to not go anywhere near the premises, the fourth floor came crashing down, killing him and his close friend, Siraj Ahmed Ali, 26.

Apart from Ansari, Shaikh had taken along Abdul Aziz Sayyed, 65, his family friend; Javed Saleem Shaikh, 34, a friend; Momeen Nadeeb Mohammad Safi, 21, his cousin; and three others from the locality. Ansari lived in a nearby chawl with his family of two.

The eight of them entered the building from the backside and reached Shaikh’s room.

“We decided to move out with the motorcycle and lock the room and leave. But before we locked the room, the building collapsed,” said Sayyed, who fell from the fourth floor of the building. The others had reached the second floor by then and were crushed under the debris.

Shaikh, who worked with a private firm in Navi Mumbai, resided with his parents and two sisters in the building, while his two brothers lived abroad.

“On Friday night, when the building developed cracks, we all rushed out with valuables like documents and ornaments and also shifted some of our belongings to a nearby building. Shaikh asked me to rest as I am old. He told me he will come back in minutes as he wanted to take the motorcycle. He went with his friends and never came back,” said Mohammad Habeeb, 60, Shaikh’s father.

The 60-year-old said Shaikh loved the bike a lot as he had bought it with his own money. “He did not use the bike as it was old, but wanted to preserve it till his death,” he said. Shaikh’s father received the 22-year-old’s body around 12pm on Saturday.

“Shaikh has many friends in the area and everyone is ready to help him at his one call. Nobody thought that this would be his last call,” said Khurshid Aalam, 21, Shaikh’s friend.

First Published: Aug 25, 2019 00:59 IST