Desperate families look out for sounds of survival

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NEW DELHI - The cries for help are becoming fainter, the mobiles are dying out slowly… But the intermittent sounds from the debris of the collapsed building are keeping hopes alive for the distraught families gathered at east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar.

A day after the five-storey building caved in Monday night, workers Tuesday scrambled to rescue those still trapped in the debris as families kept vigil. Amongst them was Jamuna Devi, whose 50-year-old son was standing outside the building when it collapsed.

He was standing outside with some friends. When the building first fell, we thought it was an earthquake, she said.

The stunned mother pleaded that someone should save her son. He spoke to my other son on his mobile phone last night. He was crying and saying that he was still trapped inside,” Jamuna Devi told IANS.

Since morning, however, the phone has been coming switched off.

Close to her was another man, sobbing and asking the journalists gathered at the spot to look for his 12-year-old son.

My three sons were inside the building. Two of them have been taken out, but my third son is still there… please do something. I can’t take it anymore, he said.

Residents said they could still hear survivors from inside the building though the sounds were becoming fainter.

I can still hear ‘bachao, bachao’ from inside. But the shouts are not as numerous as last night, said Ram Nivas, a local resident.

Vinod Kumar, who survived the calamity, said there would have been more casualties had the building collapsed an hour later.

At any time, at least a 100 people used to stay in the building. A local chai-wala’s sons were inside the building when it collapsed. One is dead and we are still looking for the other one, he said.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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