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'We heard a loud rumbling and then the house fell down'

May 26, 2011 17:52 IST

In a matter of seconds, 55-year-old Sobha Ram Sehrawat, a resident of Parvatiya Colony in Old Faridabad, lost three members of his family on Wednesday night.

"They had gone to the terrace because there was a power cut. My son and I had come down to check if there was something wrong with the meter. Within seconds, our house came crashing down," recalls Sehrawat.

He is standing outside the cremation ground, where he has just cremated his wife, daughter and daughter-in-law.

Sehrawat and his son, Deepak, 25, were the only survivors in their family of five when a chartered airplane nose-dived into their house late on Wednesday.

The air-ambulance, which was ferrying a critically ill Patna-based 20-year-old to Delhi, killed 10 people, including all the women in Sehrawat's family.

Sehrawat's wife Vedvati, 52, daughter Sarita, 22, and daughter-in-law Rani, 19, had gone to the terrace to find respite from the sweltering heat, when the plane fell on their house in the densely populated Parvatiya Colony.

The plane first bounced on the terrace of their neighbour's house, before tumbling on to theirs and going up in flames.

"We heard a loud rumbling and the next thing we knew, the house had fallen down. The plane's petrol tank spilled and it caught fire. There were a couple of explosions. I could not go further inside to look for my family. My son tried to get in, but I grabbed his hand and forced him outside to safety," Sehrawat says.

"It was a decision I had to take and I know I will regret it for the rest of my life. But I had no choice," Sehrawat says, waving his hands in helplessness. 

It was double tragedy for his son, Deepak, who is a taxi driver. He lost Rani, who he had married just two months ago. Deepak was visibly in a state of shock and sat silently on the footpath outside the cremation ground. 

Sehrawat and Deepak have sustained minor burns and superficial injuries.

Sahim Salim