The Boy Who Lived: 4-Year-Old Survives Raigad Building Crash, Rescued After 19 Hours

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The Boy Who Lived: 4-Year-Old Survives Raigad Building Crash, Rescued After 19 Hours

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Tragedy struck in Maharashtra’s Raigad district on Monday, after a building collapsed in a residential area claiming 16 lives so far. Two days in, the rescue personnel deployed at the site had managed to rescue 78 people from the debris of the five-storey building.

Among those fortunate enough to have survived the collapse, was a four-year-old boy, whose rescue bolstered the rescue teams’ efforts, and has been called “nothing less than a miracle” by some online.

The four-year-old, identified as Mohammed Bangi, was stuck under the debris for 19 hours, reports say, before rescue teams managed to save him. He was trapped in an air pocket under a pillar which helped him survive.

A video of the child being pulled out from under the debris was shared widely online, with many praising the rescue teams for their operation, which had lasted over 30 hours at the time.

Unfortunately half an hour after the boy managed to escape with only minor injuries, and was rushed to a hospital, rescue teams discovered that his mother and his two young sisters hadn’t been as lucky, and had been crushed under the debris.

The boy’s uncle told reporters that the family had recently returned from their village to Raigad, so his elder sister would have better connectivity for her online classes.

The Raigad police have, meanwhile, registered cases against five people over the horrific collapse, including the builder and the architect. The building, Tarique Garden, was less than 10 years old, and had 41 flats. As soon as the building started to shake, reports said, 70-80 residents managed to escape, but several families weren’t as fortunate.

“The construction of the building was very poor. No one will be spared, they will have to face the harshest punishment,” Maharashtra Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar was quoted as saying. He also announced ₹5 lakh as compensation to those who lost loved ones in the disaster. Hopefully strict action is taken against those responsible, and the boy recovers soon.

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