3 days after LPG blast, wails still to emerge from Beawar house
The tragedy claimed 19 lives. Most were buried alive under the debris of a guesthouse that collapsed under the impact of the blast.jaipur Updated: Feb 19, 2018 22:39 IST
Surendra Kumar Patnecha is distraught. The 53-year-old man, who works as a telephone mechanic in the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nagam Limited (BSNL), lost his wife and 16 relatives in an LPG cylinder blast in Beawar on Friday.
The tragedy claimed 19 lives. Most of them were buried alive under the debris of a guesthouse that collapsed under the impact of the blast. They were in the guesthouse for a wedding ceremony of Patnecha’s younger son, Hemant. Hemant was busy in his mehndi ceremony at home, some distance from the incident site.
Three days after the tragedy, loud wails emerge from Patnecha’s house in Nand Nagar area’s Gali No. 3 as women are inconsolable. Patnecha breaks into sporadic cries as he says he’s completely shattered.
“I have lost my wife,” he says amid sobs. “Only minor children are left in the families of two of my brothers-in-law. They, their wives and adult sons have all gone,” he adds.
Patnecha’s other two sons were near the guesthouse. The eldest, Amit (32), suffered injuries in his spine and pelvic area. “I fear with such serious injuries he may not be able to walk again,” the telephone mechanic says, demanding “best-possible treatment” for his son so that he doesn’t end up using a wheelchair.
The third son escaped with minor injuries as he was outside the building talking to someone when the blast occurred.
The blast did not wreak havoc on Patnecha’s family alone; 52-year-old widow Sugni Devi also felt the shock of the tragedy. She is homeless with 10 other members of her family, including 4 children, as the blast damaged her house.
“We are spending nights under the sky, and preparing and eating food on the roadside,” said the elderly woman as the district administration has not made any alternative arrangement of stay.
Devi has lost her house and her source of income. “My only permanent income was what I received from the house as rent; my two sons work as daily-wage labourers and have no fixed income,” she adds.
The tragedy befell the family of Sheela Dasani, 49, too. She worked in weddings as a cook and was called by Patnecha for making rotis. “My mother-in-law was a great support for the family; her demise has taken away one of the main pillars of our family,” says Dasani’s daughter-in-law Preeti.
First Published: Feb 19, 2018 22:39 IST