Ghatkopar building collapse: A four-storey building in Mumbai came down on Tuesday.
When rescuers finally managed to reach 50-year-old Pragya Jadeja trapped underneath the rubble of a four-storey building that collapsed
in east Mumbai's Ghatkopar on Tuesday, her desperation peaked into a hopeless cry: "Please cut my hands but pull me out of the debris."
"Mere dono haath kaat do bhaiya, mujhe jaldi bahar nikaalo...nahi to main mar jaungi
(cut my both the hands but please pull me out quickly otherwise I am going to die)," she said when she spotted an rescue worker looking out for survivors.
Mr Jadeja is one of the 11 survivors pulled out from under the rubble of the Siddhi Sai Cooperative Housing Society which collapsed, leaving 17 dead. The owner of the several apartments in the building with links to the Shiv Sena
was arrested yesterday.
"We could hardly peep in to find that Jaedja's both the hands were partially crushed between two big fallen walls. But we comforted her, cut the huge RCC structure, and finally pulled her out safe," said constable Santosh Jadhav.
A 20-year-old woman was also pulled out alive from under the mound by the rescuers who reached her after hearing her cries for help.
"The woman was trapped under the huge pile of the rubble and was wailing in pain. We removed big pillars while praying that they don't fall on her and then pulled her out," said another personnel.
A 47-member team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was pressed into the search and rescue operation immediately after the incident.
Among those rescued was also Rajesh Doshi, a resident of the ill-fated building, whose legs were crushed under the debris but managed to call up his son on his mobile phone to ask for help.
"Doshi called his son at 6 in the evening, but it took nearly eight hours to locate and rescue him safely. He was finally pulled out of the rubble around 2.45 am," said a civic official engaged in the rescue operation.
Deputy Commandant Mahesh Nalawade, who led the National Disaster Response Force team, said sophisticated equipment in their arsenal came handy for the rescuers in saving lives.
"Our team used sensors that could catch the heartbeat of people trapped under debris. We also used trained sniffer dogs. We lowered cameras from the passages or holes to locate who is trapped under the rubble and acted accordingly. We used cutters sparingly," he said.