Family of 4 burnt alive in Mahim slum fire
Another woman saw her husband engulfed in flames; docs claim bodies charred beyond recognition, need DNA samples from families to ascertain identities. HT reports.mumbai Updated: Jan 26, 2013 03:09 IST
Safi Mohammad Sayyed was 106 years old and couldn't even walk. He had come to the city from Nagpur five years ago for treatment. Sayyed and his family of three were fast asleep when a fire broke out at Naya Nagar slum, Mahim, early on Friday morning, charring all the family members.
Two more people were killed and nine injured in the fire suspected to have started from an electric meter box.
"My grandfather couldn't even walk to save himself," said Akila Bano Ansari, Sayyed's granddaughter. "I lost my entire family only in a few hours."
The fire claimed the lives of Ansari's mother Saddiqun Nisa, 45, and younger sister Chanda Yuha Sayyed, 18. "Chanda was pursuing a degree in commerce and was a bright student," said Ansari.
Ansari's cousin Hasrutin Sayyed, 28, who was also in the house, had got married only eight months ago. "This was her first trip to Mumbai. She was to leave for Nagpur within three days," said Mohammad Shamsuddin, a relative
Hasina Rain, 40, saw her husband Chand burning alive. "He woke us up and got us out of the house. Just when he was about leave the house, he was swallowed by a huge flame," said Rain, who sustained 2% burns.
The couple has seven children. Their youngest son Imran, 7, also sustained burns.
All victims were taken to Bhabha and Sion hospitals. "The bodies are charred beyond recognition. There are no belongings that can help us confirm their identities," said Dr Pradeep Jadhav, medical superintendent, Bhabha hospital, Bandra.
Dr Rajesh Dere, associate professor, Sion hospital, said: "The police papers say at least seven people are missing, while six bodies were found on the site. We are yet to ascertain their identities."
"We will have to take blood samples of relatives who want to claim the bodies and try to match them with the DNA samples of the deceased. We will do a preliminary examination, which will tell us the gender of the bodies. But I fear even the gonads of the bodies are charred," said Dere.
Most victims have suffered 8-10% burns
A majority of the nine people who were injured in the blaze that broke out in Naya Nagar in Mahim have sustained around eight to 10% burns, said doctors.
"Suddenly we felt very hot and even before we could wake up, we saw large flames. We were lucky to have survived, it was scary as our eye refused to open in the hot smoke," said Sampat Soni, 38, who came to Mumbai five years ago.
Apart from Soni seven others are admitted in the ward at civic run Bhabha Hospital, Bandra.
Soni and other injured broke the tin sheets of their shanty and ran out. "No one helped us. We all came to the hospital in a taxi, there was no ambulance," said Mahavir Soni, 21 adding that the doors were melted.
Soni's 18-year-old brother Ajay was terrified by the incident. "I came to Mumbai just four months ago to work in his father's scrap business," said Ajay.
Another victim, Omprakash Soni, 38, said that he would have died if he did not wake up in time. "When I opened the door I saw the flames touching the ground. I immediately ran on the opposite side and broke the tin sheets and jumped out," said Omprakash whose face was burnt in the fire.
Meanwhile Rinku Yadav, 21, who had sustained minor injuries was treated in the casualty and later discharged from Sion Hospital.
Doctors at Sion hospital said the injured have sustained minor burns but will require to be hospitalized to avoid any infection.
Mayor, Sunil Prabhu paid a visit to the injured in the afternoon inquiring about their health.