rediff.com received this mail from a reader last night.
Subject: URGENT : 100 LIVES AT RISK IN KURLA, NEAR BKC BUS DEPO , IT IS A DOUBLE DECKER BUS, PLEASE HELP!!!
Date: 26 Jul 2005 17:12:02 -0000
From: "gopa chakrabarti"
please do something. my younger sister and more than 100 people are in a double decker BEST BUS near
BKC bus depo . they are unable to call from their mobiles, i called my sister with great difficulty. the water has
filled the first floor of the bus and they are all stuck.is there no one that can help, fire brigade, helicopters, even if
someone could pass them a rope from some height their lives can be saved.
they are unable to come out as the water is flowing with force and is above 15 feet.
i tried calling police 100 and 101 but no reply. u r my only help as i know u can reack to many people. i am in
nagpur nd am helpless.
And again this morning:
it more than 13 hrs now that my sister and more than 200 people are stranded on 4 BEST buses between KBC
and kurla station and not a single rescue team has reached them.are the lives of us Indians so cheap that if a
few hundreds die each day,it is ok.when contacted the police they say water subsided but i spoke to the
passengers and they say it has not, it is raining and the water level is not decreasing.i am told the rescue team
will reach them if they find it critical, when will it become critical , when they die... it will be too late then.they say
BMC and fire brigade left hrs back but have not yet reached , they are waiting for the water level to come down,
what if it does not, we let the 200 odd people die. is this mumbai???
I appeal to everybody please do something. get boats, throw life jackets, something....
the passengers on the bus are holding onto dear life but no help in sight......
When we contacted Gopa last night, she asked if we could speak to the police or fire brigade and rush help to the marooned passengers.
We called 101 and spoke to a fire brigade employee, whose response was,"There are so many cases like this in the city. Our vehicles are all on the streets."
He initially refused to give the number for the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) fire station, asking, "What's the use? The vehicles are all out," but relented after we appealed to his good sense.
We repeatedly called the BKC fire station at 2643-5206, but no one picks up.
On seeing this report posted on our site, a gentleman, Nirvan, called to offer help. He said he wished to help and asked for the exact location of the bus. He has been trying to organise a rescue, without apparent success.
People on the bus have been contacted on their mobiles. The commuters say about five such buses are stranded on the BKC stretch.
More disturbing, they report, that the water level has reached the second level of the bus and the passengers are on the roof.
Can any readers help the stranded passengers?