With little clarity about who managed to survive, despair grows among the relatives
In the cramped space between ambulances and firetrucks, Ajay Daksh stood watching the crane go off. A fire in an office complex in Mundka. For five hours, he would cycle between the building and the nearest hospitals in search of his sister.
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Ajay’s sister Mohini works in the administrative department of the company, which manufactures surveillance cameras and WiFi routers.
Ismail Khan, a businessman, was also looking for his sister, Muskan (21), a sales manager. “She called me around 4.30pm and she was crying. I rushed to help. I told her to jump… I told her I was going to pick her up. She didn’t. Her phone isn’t working now. Police say 27 bodies have been found. Is my sister one of them? I tried to get in but she fell on me.” A piece of glass. I saw employees trying to put out the fire with fire extinguishers but they didn’t work. I was helpless.”
According to the relatives of those who work in the complex, a meeting was called on the second floor and most of the employees gathered there, some even sat on the floor due to the lack of seats. Nearly half an hour after the meeting, an employee in the basement alerted of a power outage, then a fire.
Survivors said that with no way to get to the exit, some threw heavy objects to smash windows and descended through a pipe. Those who could not stay and moved to higher places.
Vimla, 40, who works in the assembly unit, told The Indian Express, “I was on the third floor. There was chaos. My friend took a chair and started smashing the glass windows. I rushed to the stairs with others but there was nowhere to leave. The fire swept through. Everything. We were lost. The elevator stopped working. Within an hour, the locals came to our rescue. They got ladders and ropes. Jo Nikal Paya and Nikal Gaya, Baki Sap Waheen. I was crying while everyone was arguing. to die. My son was waiting for me.”
Vimla, who hails from Uttarakhand and has moved to Delhi for work, received burns and cuts on her hands.
Family members alleged that several people were asked to deposit their phones before the meeting began. “This practice started a few weeks ago…this may have prevented many from contacting their families,” said Govind, whose mother Rina was among those rescued.
Among the desperate relatives was Rajesh Kumar, whose sister-in-law Sweety works in the mobilization department. “We have been running since 5pm. At this point we just want to know where she is,” Rajesh said.
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