Owner of collapsed building in Mumbai loses 9 family members

A relative of a victim speaks on the phone in Mumbai.

Rafique Siddiqui is too dazed to comprehend whether to thank his luck for surviving after the Mumbai building where he lived collapsed or to mourn the loss of his wife and eight other family members in the tragedy.

Siddiqui, 45, who owned the three-storey building and lived there with his family, had stepped out to buy milk minutes before it collapsed.

When he came back, he found his world turned upside down as nine members of his family, including his wife, brother, sister-in-law and six children from the two families, had died in the incident.

Another family member suffered injuries after getting trapped under the debris and was hospitalised, Siddiqui told reporters.

He is now left with his 16-year-old son, who had gone out to buy medicines when the tragedy struck.

“I had gone out to buy milk for morning tea when the incident took place. I did not know the building was in a bad condition. My family members did not get any time to move out of the house when the building collapsed,” he said.

Siddiqui said that when he returned, he saw a number of locals removing debris from the spot before the rescue teams arrived.

A local claimed that most of the shanties in the area were set up illegally and later converted into three and four-storey structures without permission from the civic body.

Most of the shanty owners live elsewhere and have rented out their premises here to poor people, he said.


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