New Delhi: Harrowing tales emerged from the north Delhi building where 43 labourers perished in a fire Sunday morning. Musharaf Ali, 30, a worker from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh, made his last phone call to his brother, requesting him to “take care of things at home”. In a chilling audio clip, Ali pleaded with his brother to take care of his wife and four children after he was gone.
“Brother, I am going to die. There is fire everywhere. Brother, please come to Delhi tomorrow and take me. There is fire everywhere and no way to escape,” Ali told his brother.
“I will not survive today. Please take care of my family brother..I am not able to breathe... just come and take me ... take care of the family,” he added. Ali also told his brother to break the news of his death to the elders of the house first. When his brother asked him to try save himself, he said: “Ab koi raasta nahi bacha (there is no way now)... I am about to die brother, just three-four minutes remain... it’s all God’s will.”
He is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son. He had been working at the factory for the past four years.
Hussain, 32, said he lost his 28-year-old brother, Shakir, in the deadly blaze. Shakir, a father of four, made caps in the factory. The two brothers were migrant workers from Bihar and had come to New Delhi eight years ago. “I got a call from Shakir at around 4 am and he told me the building had caught fire and he is inside a room and that there is no way to leave the room,” said Zakir.
“Acting on the call I rushed to the building and managed to reach there by 4.30 am. I called on Shakir’s phone several times but there was no response,” said Zakir.
Manoj, 23, a resident of Begusarai in Bihar, said his brother Naveen, 18, was working in a handbag-making unit operating from the premises.
Mohammed Israil, another local worker, said there were almost 20 workers from Bihar’s Saharsa district who were to return to their village on Sunday night, for which they had already booked their train tickets.
Arjun Kapoor, 65, a resident of the area, said that on the building’s ground floor school bags were manufactured, while on the second floor, toys were made and on the third floor binding work for dairies and notebooks was done. The fourth floor was used for stock-keeping.
“Just before the incident, at around 4 am, a truck came to unload material at the factory. After unloading the stock, the factory workers went to sleep inside and locked the gate from inside,” said Kapoor....