HYDERABAD: Heart-wrenching scenes were all over Gandhi hospital mortuary on Friday with family members, relatives, friends and colleagues of the six victims of the Swapnalok fire tragedy wailing inconsolably.
All the six were educated and aged between 22 and 23 years. Lack of jobs in rural areas had pushed them into the scam-accused QNet Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd, where they paid a deposit to get a job. They were in their office on the fifth floor of the commercial complex when the fire broke out.
" My daughter explained that if we pay this company, they will train her for one month and then we can earn big money each month. We paid around Rs 2 lakh," said her father J. Bandrufrom Sureshnagar in Mahbubabad.
Rajini Gudipaka, an engineer from Warangal, paid Rs 1.6 lakh. "I fell into the trap, listening to their false promises and motivational speakers. They brainwashed us. We wanted to leave but our money was stuck with the company," she said.
The company has a workforce of 300, most of them from lower middle class and rural areas of Khammam, Warangal, Medak, Mahbubabad and Kothagudam. “Lack of employment pushed us to put money with the firm. We were all misled with their sweet talk," said Hari, an engineer.
Maisa Akhila, resident of Khammam, worked with Q-Net for eight months after paying Rs 2 lakh.
"They forced us to build the chain with more members. We are supposed to sell foreign products and we make around Rs 15,000 per month,"Akhila said.
Appikatla Nikhil from Kothagudam said "Once we pay, there is no exit. They force us to promote international products and tough targets are given.”
The family members who lost their kin spent the night drenched in rain at the Gandhi Hospital emergency block, waiting for doctors to give them good news, something that never came.
One of the victims, G. Prashanth, had invested with the firm just 20 days back. “He left the house early in the morning. He said he would call if he got late but did not call till 6.30 pm," his father G. Janardhan said.
"One of his friends, Kamlesh Naik, informed me that there was a fire mishap and Prashanth was trapped inside the building. We rushed to the building and were told to go to Gandhi Hospital. The doctors informed us that they were performing CPR but it did not work," said Janardhan, a farmer from Intiken in Mahbubabad district.
Ramarao, who lost his only daughter Triveni, said she called him at 7.20 pm and said that she was trapped inside the building along with several others.
“She was coughing while she was talking. I told her to get out of the office. She said that the fire in the opposite office was massive and there was no other exit. That was the last time that I spoke to my only daughter.”
One of the victims, Sravani, had called her elder Bhavani and told her that there was a fire mishap in the building. “Our office is full of smoke, its pitch dark and the power is shut off. Akka please do something and save me,” was her emotionally-choked plea,” Bhavani said.
“My daughter B. Sravani, had completed her BTech from a college in Kodad recently and was working in QNet. I had given her Rs 1.5 lakh after she said she got a good option to earn money,” Narsimha, the victim's father, and mother Padma, said.
While others who were in the complex and had inhaled poisonous gas are undergoing treatment in Yashoda and Apollo hospitals in Secunderabad. They have been identified as M. Ravi, Bharathamma, Jangaiah, M. Raju and Jangaiah. Bharathamma is Jangaiah’s wife while Raju and Ravi are their children.
Mahankali police are investigating....