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Building collapse: Survivors recount fateful night

twitter-logoPTI | January 4, 2019 | Updated 23:52 IST

New Delhi, Jan 4 (PTI) Ashok was climbing down stairs to fetch a cylinder when he was jolted by the sudden blast. Surender saw six persons, including a child, getting trapped inside the debris. Seconds after entering the factory, Ajit Kumar was thrown away by the impact of the blast and later found himself among many unconscious people. These are some of the survivors who lived to tell the tales of the fateful night when seven people were killed after a portion of a factory manufacturing ceiling fans collapsed under the impact of a blast in its furnace in west Delhi's Sudarshan Park on Thursday. Lying on a bed at the Acharya Shree Bhikshu Hospital here, Ashok recalled how the blast rendered him numb. He said the entire incident happened between 8.40 pm and 8.45 pm. "I was working on the first floor (of the factory) where fans were painted. My boss asked me to get a filled cylinder since the one which was in use was running out. I was hardly ten steps down, when I heard a blast and was soon trapped inside the debris," he said. Nearly 16 people, including a six-year-old child and two women, were inside the factory when the tragedy took place, he recalled. Ashok had been working in the factory for close to three years and used to make spare parts of fans. The owner of the factory, Ankit Gupta, was also at the spot when the incident took place. He too sustained injuries. Another owner, Sumit, had left for home at around 6.30 pm, he said. Ashok also rued about the poor medical treatment being provided to him. He alleged the hospital authorities asked him to get a CT scan done from outside. When I asked for an ambulance, I was refused, he alleged. Heena, whose brother Munna was injured in the incident, said Munna used to work at banquet halls and wedding events. "He did not earn much and wanted to work in a factory. My brother had joined the factory on January 1," she said. Munna was referred to Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital. He sustained injuries on his face, stomach and leg in the incident. Surender, who survived the tragedy, said he witnessed close to six persons, including a child, getting trapped inside debris. "I was inside the factory when a painter struck a match and simultaneously I heard the blast. We were all trapped inside the debris. Now, it is not clear weather the blast took place due to the compressor or cylinder," he said. He said his wife Sunita had been working in the factory for around three months. Sunita said she had complained that everybody was allowed to use cylinders. "I had told the factory owners that it was dangerous, specially because children also visited the place with their parents who used to work here," she said. Ajith Kumar had visited the factory on Thursday to meet his uncle. He sustained a fracture in his leg. Ramgovind, who was discharged, said he had been working at a godown adjacent to the factory for close to six years. "I used to supply scrap at the godown and lived here along with my co-workers. On the fateful night, after having dinner, we were warming ourselves besides a bonfire and were about to go to sleep. Suddenly, we heard a blast inside the factory. Me along with Ramphal, Munger and Rakesh got trapped inside the debris," he said. Ramphal and Munger lost their lives in the incident. PTI AMP TDS SRY

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