Mohammed Aslam Ansari (34) could well be Mumbra’s hero. A resident on the first floor of the collapsed building with his family of ten, he saved the lives of some of the residents by helping them vacate the building, half an hour before collapse.
“At 3.30am, cement started falling from the ceiling but I ignored it as it had been happening for the last few days. At around 7am, the cement started falling faster and I saw a crack on the wall so I sent my daughter to inform her father,” said Parveen, Mohammed’s wife.
Her daughter Aasma Ansari, 8, then woke up her father. “I rushed and found that there were cracks at the wall so asked my family members to vacate the building. I knocked on the doors of all the first floor residents and informed them about the dangerous state of the building,” he said. He also told a fifth floor resident to inform people on the other floors.
On the ground floor, Sajjid Nasir Menon and his wife Reshma Sajid Menon managed to escape with their three children because of Ansari’s warning.
The Menons have been residents of Banu complex for the last 28 years since the five-storey building was developed from their chawl. “My three kids and wife were sleeping. I woke them up and we left the house. A few minutes after we left, the building collapsed.”
Menon and his wife Reshma own a khichda stall near Mumbra station. “We have lost our house and our business as everything is under debris. We are now living with my sister-in-law but for how many days can we stay there?
We are waiting for the rescue operations to end so that we can get our belongings and figure pout what to do next,” said Reshma.