KENDRAPARA: The 27-year-old plumber, Prakash Rout, who had a miraculous escape when the 12-storey building collapsed at Moulivakkam of Chennai, drank his urine and rain water to survive.
Prakash was among the last few survivors to be rescued from the giant pile of rubble at the ill-fated construction site 72 hours after the building collapsed.
He reached his village Rajapur under Rajnagar block from Chennai on Monday and almost all villagers congregated outside his house to hear his tale of survival.
“It’s a miracle that I survived. When it rained on Saturday, the building on which we were working collapsed like a pack of cards,” he said. Prakash was on the second floor along with other workers at that time.
“In a split second, we were knocked down and covered by debris. While iron slabs and concrete rubble fell on my colleagues, I was trapped inside an air pocket which is why I survived. I could see the dead bodies around me. I had to drink my urine and the rain water that seeped in through the rubble to keep myself hydrated,” he recalled.
Prakash said he had no knowledge of time. “All I did was to wait for either death or rescuers to take me out,” he said.
Joyous tears rolled down the eyes of Laxmi, his mother and his father, Sukhadev. Laxmi said she will not allow her son to go outside the village ever. But Prakash differed. “I will go to Chennai again after a month to eke out living. There is little scope in Odisha to earn more,” he said.
Though Prakash was lucky to have escaped death, his co-worker from the same village, Amar Rout, was not lucky enough. He was buried under the rubble of the same building on Saturday. The incident claimed 61 lives.