Mumbai rains: Five of family dead, 8-year-old lone survivor hasn’t spoken since tragedy

Related News Day after walls collapsed in Malad, toll climbs to 26 Nothing will change for Mumbai, thanks to BMC Mumbai rains: Google Maps is letting you report closed roads, here’s how Priya Nanavare’s parents and siblings have died. IN a...

Mumbai rains: Five of family dead, 8-year-old lone survivor hasn’t spoken since tragedy
Mumbai wall collapse, Malad wall collapse, Mumbai rains, Mubai wall collapse deaths, Mumbai wall collapse death toll
Priya Nanavare’s parents and siblings have died.

IN a red T-shirt and pink shorts that she wore to sleep on Monday night, Priya Nanavare (8) stood outside Goregaon crematorium on Wednesday, clutching a water bottle. The bodies of nine people who died in the Kurar wall collapse had been brought to the crematorium for final rites. Five of them were from Priya’s family.

Priya lost her mother Rani, father Laxman, sisters Deepa (12) and Sanchita (15) and three-year-old brother Parshuram. “She has not spoken a word since. We have told her father is in hospital, but I think she understands,” said Priya’s uncle Babu Nanavare.

READ | Day after walls collapsed in Malad, toll climbs to 26

Several slum dwellers murmured one question — who will look after the child now?

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On Monday night, a wall collapsed at Pimpri Pada and Ambedkar Nagar in Malad East and water from BMC’s Malad Hill Reservoir washed away homes in adjoining settlements.

That night, Priya had slept a few feet away from her parents. She was swept by the water, but got stuck under a wooden plank. “She kept screaming for her mother. After 15-20 minutes, I was able to locate her,” said Rani’s brother Rangesh Vitkar.

READ | CM Fadnavis announces inquiry into Malad wall collapse

At 1 am, Priya was rushed to Jogeshwari Trauma Care hospital, treated for a nose injury and discharged. She vomited all night. On Tuesday, she was taken back to the hospital for a CT scan. By then, her father and brother’s bodies had been recovered.

On Tuesday, Priya waited at her aunt’s house as rescue teams tried to locate Rani, Deepa and Sanchita, who were trapped under the debris. While Deepa and Rani succumbed to drowning, Sanchita battled until afternoon. “We thought at least Sanchita will be pulled out alive, she will be there for Priya,” said Sunita Chaugule, a relative. But oxygen masks and intravenous drip did not help the 15-year-old. Since she was rescued, Priya has refused to eat, relatives said. She has only drank water. Whenever someone approached her, she pointed to her nose to indicate that it is paining.

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