Three-hour rescue operation by 21 Fire Service personnel
Mysore/Mysuru: The family of five is still unable to come to terms with what had happened. They have lost all their hard-earned savings, household furniture and kitchen items.
While the family is still dealing with the trauma of last night, Madhava Rao, the head of the household said, “Fate has kept us alive. God really came and saved us in the form of rescue personnel.”
A huge dilapidated building in front of Madhava Rao’s house on K.T. Street in Mandi Mohalla collapsed at 6.30 am today and the entire five-member family including an 80-year-old woman and a four-year-old child were trapped. They could neither stay inside the house nor could they come out.
Keeping their fingers crossed and shouting for help and praying at the same time, the family’s voice was buried under the debris. Fortunately, the neighbours heard the loud crashing sound at an unearthly hour and they immediately alerted the Fire Service Department.
Within minutes, 21 personnel landed at the spot with rescue equipment and pulled out all the five into safety. The family lost all household articles and money and could bring out only an LPG cylinder. Fortunately, the family was only trapped and the debris had not crushed the roof of their house.
The shoe shop in front of the building owned by Mohammad Idris has been reduced into rubble and footwear worth Rs, 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh has been lost. The exact overall damage due to the collapse is yet to be ascertained.
Though the family that had taken the house for lease saw that chips on the wall were breaking and falling, little did they expect the building would fall. Today they had to attend a family function and had slept last night readying dresses for the event. The house was leased out by 62-year-old Madhava Rao, an onion trader.
Other members of the family are Madhava Rao’s wife 59-year-old Nagarathna Bai, 80-year-old Neela Bai, 28-year-old Akshay who is Madhava Rao’s son and four-year-old Pruthvi, Akshay’s sister’s son who had come to his grandfather’s house as he was close to him.
Soon after the call was made to the Fire Service Department, the team arrived within minutes and assessed the extent of the damage. They climbed onto the ceiling of another house and could hear the muffled sound that was coming inside the debris. The construction waste was cleared from that portion and in the small space available, the family members were carried one after the other to safety.
Even the building where the firemen had climbed was dilapidated and they had to take precautions. A ladder pushed inside the small space. In the rescue operation, the efforts of Puneeth Hubballi, who carried the elderly woman Neela Bai as she was unable to walk, and Ananda, who carried the little Pruthvi, were commendable.
Victims had to be carried
Even after the victims were pulled out, they could not climb down the ladder on their own and had to be carried down. Chief Fire Officer Ramesh and men from Bannimantap and Saraswathipuram Fire Brigade led by Naveen Kumar, Ranganayaka, Nagaraj Urs, Shivaswamy and others participated in the rescue operation.
After the rescue, Neela Bai and Nagarathna Bai were in tears as their life’s savings and furniture could not be brought out and would be buried once the entire structure will be razed later. Unable to control sobbing, they said that they would live in their relatives house till alternative arrangements are made. Pruthvi is in a state of shock seeing his grandfather’s house no longer exists.
“We managed to take out only one LPG cylinder and the future looks bleak,” said Madhava Rao. But he was thankful for the service rendered by the Fire Service Department. “At least we are alive. These men are like God,” he said.