CHENNAI: It may have been a building collapse for onlookers but for most within the structure it was their homes and families that crumbled to dust.
The coolies at the high-rise lived in the unfinished building with their families. Husbands and wives worked, as children played around them. While most of them were from Andhra Pradesh, a significant number hailed from Madurai and Tiruvannamalai districts.
Sarojini had returned from her hometown Vijayanagar in Andhra on Saturday night only to hear that her son Paulli Naidu is battling for life at the ICU in SRU and Rama Lakshmi, another relative, was dead.
The deceased Rama Lakshmi’s young daughter Divya put up a brave face but tears welled up in her eyes. “There were 16 people from our family working at the site. Nine of our family members were in the building while the rest of us were in the nearby structure when the disaster struck,” she said.
The clueless family camped at the SRU as they awaited word of the remaining seven still trapped in the debris.
Another employee at the site, Manjula, who had gone to her hometown Tiruvannamalai a week ago, did not imagine her vacation would be cut short. It was a sad day for the whole family as Manjula identified the body of her deceased sister Anbazhagi at the GRH on Sunday. The distressed family paced about the SRU awaiting information on yet another deceased relative Kumar.
Several relatives waited throughout the day at the hospital for word of their dear ones, even as the language barrier for those from Andhra was a hindrance.