Rescue workers in the congested Pimpripada area of north Mumbai are working to get a 10-year-old girl out of the debris of a wall which collapsed, killing
18 persons early Tuesday.
A rescue worker said the girl, Sanchita Nalawade, has been crying for help and asking for water since the last few hours."Shortly after the wall collapsed, we rescued a child from underneath the debris. This girl Sanchita has been crying for help since 2 am," the worker, a local resident, said.
"Mujhe bahar nikalo," has been her repeated plea, he said.
The girl's cry for help from under the debris set off a massive rescue effort. Sanchita's faint voice could be heard calling out for water to drink.
Efforts are on to cut a small section of the wall and clear a path for the girl to escape.
At the scene of the tragedy, an eyewitness said when the wall collapsed, it was like a tsunami accompanied by a massive thud.
"Water was getting accumulated since it began raining heavily several hours ago. It created massive pressure on the wall. It soon gave way," a resident said.
People gathered at the site were seen discussing the ownership of the wall. While some claimed it belonged to the Forest department, others said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation was the owner, while some said auto major Mahindra & Mahindra had erected it.
"It came down like a tsunami and the gushing waters threw aside everything that came its way," said Sachin Dhuri,
Political parties, who regularly line up for votes, also came under fire as the residents, trying to come to terms with the tragedy, spoke in huddles at the site.
"They come here for votes but no one listens to us.
Once elections are over, they disappear. They have done nothing for us," resident Suresh Patil said.
Residents said 60-70 hutments got damaged in the wall collapse, and demanded adequate compensation from the authorities. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis earlier in the day announced Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each deceased.
Eighteen people were killed and over 50 injured when heavy rains led to a wall collapsing on hutments in Malad's Pimpripada area.