Survivors live to tell miraculous tales
It was a narrow escape for Abdul Israil, who worked at a hotel in Hussaini building’s ground floor. He had stepped out for breakfast minutes before the building collapsed.
“I have been working here for the past 15 years and we usually slept at the ground floor of the building. After I woke up on Thursday morning, I went for tea and breakfast with four of my colleagues,” Israil told HT. He went to an eatery opposite the building and then noticed that Hussaini building had started shaking and was about to fall when he fled the spot with his colleagues. “When I was inside the hotel at the opposite building, somebody raised an alarm that Hussaini was about to fall. So when I went to see, I noticed that the building was shaking, I feared for my life and fled from the spot,” said Israil
After the building collapsed, the survivor realised that his four other colleagues were sleeping in the building. “After I fled, I suddenly realised that my four other colleagues were trapped inside. I am trying to call them, but no one is answering,” added Israil who hails from UP.
Another man, who owned an AC repairing shop in the building, was saved after as he got held up at home owing to some household work. The shop owner Mohommad Saifuddin said, “I usually open my shop between 8am and 9am but I had some household work so my family members asked me to wait back. Just because they made me wait, I am alive today.”
But 56-year-old Usman Ali’s story is more about fear of losing close ones than of survival. He rushed from his Mankhurd home as soon as he heard about the collapse. Both his nephews, Kayyum and Nasir, were in the building. “I got to know about the incident around 9.30am. Kayyum stays with me in Mankhurd but he had come to Byculla last week to meet Nasir. They went out for dinner and then instead of coming back to Mankhurd, Kayyum decided to stay back,” said Usman. Both the youngsters, being orphans, were raised by Usman who helped them set up fruit vendor business to earn a living. “I came here and lost my mind seeing the state of the building. I ran back to JJ Hospital but the records showed that they aren’t among the injured. I have no strength to check the mortuary,” said Usman.