By Bilal Kuchay
This is the heartwarming moment a three-year-old girl was pulled out alive from the debris of a collapsed two-storey building after seven people – including her parents – were killed.
Sanjana was the lucky survivor of the tragedy after the residential building she was living in with her parents at Ejipura in Bengaluru in southern India, collapsed due to a gas cylinder blast on Monday morning.
She suffered minor burn injuries but is recovering quickly.
Images from the spot show rescuers pulling out the frail toddler from the debris, three hours after the building came crashing down.
Rescuers were using heavy machines to remove tonnes of debris and household material when suddenly they heard the plaintive cries of the child.
They swiftly removed concrete slabs with their hands and eventually pulled out a distraught Sanjana.
She was immediately rushed to an ambulance standing near the site and taken to Victoria Hospital where she is said to be out of danger.
Deputy Director of Fire and Emergency Services Department, H.S. Varadarajan who took the girl to the ambulance said: ” She was in shock and frightened.
“As the rescue men heard her cries, they started digging in that direction and spotted her hand covered in dust. They pulled her out after clearing the debris.
“Her survival was nothing but a miracle, as she lived on the ground floor and the entire building collapsed.”
“In those few seconds that I held her, I couldn’t see any deep cuts or other injuries but there were several burn marks on her body. We hope she survives.”
Even though Sanjana miraculously survived but her parents didn’t make it.
Rescue workers recovered the her 28-year-old mother, Ashwini – who was seven months pregnant – and her 31-year-old father, Sharavana’s bodies from under the rubble almost fours hours after they rescued Sanjana.
The child is believed to have survived because of a cupboard in the room that she used to hide under.
“It is only because of the considerable space beneath the cupboard and the wall that she could breathe,” the rescue men said.
Fire officials suspect that a leak from a gas cylinder might have caused a blast around 6.30 a.m. when neighbours heard the explosion and subsequently the building collapsed.
While the state government has adopted Sanjana and will bear all her expenses, a compensation of £5,833 to the family of the deceased has been announced.