3 years on, survivors recall Mumbai’s Elphinstone stampede

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Published on Sep 30, 2020 12:20 AM IST
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ByAroosa Ahmed, Mumbai

Three years after the Elphinstone stampede claimed the lives of 23 people, survivors and their families are still grappling with the effects of the tragedy.

Aakash Parab, 21, suffered a thigh bone fracture during the stampede on the foot overbridge (FOB) at Elphinstone Road (now Prabhadevi) railway station on September 29, 2017. He was among the 39 people injured in the incident. His younger brother Rohit, 11, was the youngest of the 23 who died in the stampede.

“I recall the stampede – people started falling and someone fell on me and I lost consciousness. I was taken out and put in a police van. I started searching for Rohit the minute I regained consciousness, but I could not see him. I called my friends and then my parents and asked them to come to the hospital,” Parab said, remembering the tragedy. Parab suffered a fractured thigh bone and had to spend 18 days in the civic-run KEM Hospital. He also underwent surgery for his injury. “It’s tough to stand for long hours,” he said. Parab now has a temporary job at an office in Marol.

Ankita, Parab’s mother, said the family has struggled to make a living during the lockdown. “We had a flower shop that was shut completely. There was no source of income at all. We suffered a lot and did not know how to get money to survive. Aakash got a job but it is temporary and the salary is less. It is extremely difficult to manage,” she said. Ankita has written to the ministry of Railways and the chief minister of Maharashtra, asking for a job for her son, but said she has not received any reply. “I am hoping that the Railways reply and my son manages to get a job,” she said.

However, the Railways had clarified previously that it cannot assure any job to anyone injured in the stampede. A compensation of 8 lakh was given to the families of those who lost their kin in the tragedy.

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