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Mumbai building fire: Never thought would see him fall to his death, say kin of security guard caught in viral video

Arun had been working in Mumbai for the last 10 years, staying at a rented accommodation in Matunga.

Written by Rupsa Chakraborty

When Vinay Tiwari, a resident of Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, spoke to his brother at 11.30am on Friday over the phone, he had no clue that an hour later, he would watch him fall to his death in a video that has now gone viral.

Vinay Tiwari’s brother, 30-year-old Arun, died in the wake of the fire that broke out at Avighna Park residential building in Lower Parel. Arun, who has been working as a security guard at the high-rise for the last five years, was sitting with his colleagues at the security office near the building when fire alarm started ringing around 12 pm, prompting him and others to rush to rescue the residents.

A fire, which is said to have started due to short circuit, was reported from the 19th floor of the building.

Yogesh, Arun’s colleague, said, “We were successful in rescuing three people from the room (1902) when Arun went to check the balcony. But suddenly, the fire flares spread further and he got stuck there. We tried to reach him but couldn’t due to the fire.”

Later, Arun tried to climb down to the 18th floor below but he couldn’t land on the parapet of the window and fell to the ground floor. He was immediately rushed to King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital, Parel, where he was declared brought death.

Soon, the video of Arun’s fall went viral on social media and eventually made its way to his brother living some 1,400 km away in their native place in UP.

“The video had gone viral and his brother also received it through WhatsApp. He immediately called me to check if it was Arun. I couldn’t confirm as his face wasn’t clear. Or maybe, we knew that it was him but didn’t want to believe it,” said Mukesh Pandey, Arun’s uncle who visited KEM Hospital. “We never thought that we would see him fall to his death from a video. He was such a responsible boy who was looking after his family in the absence of his father,” he added.

Arun had been working in Mumbai for the last 10 years, staying at a rented accommodation in Matunga. He was the sole breadwinner of the family. “His brother doesn’t have any work so, Arun had to support the whole family with his income,” said Shailendra Pandey, another relative of the deceased.

Arun delayed his marriage due to the responsibilities of his family, his relatives said. “Just a few months back, he got his sister married and was planning to settle down soon,” said Mukesh.

His mother is on her way to Mumbai to claim Arun’s body; she wishes to perform his last rites in their native place.

The family wants Arun’s security company to compensate for his death. “They should have provided more safety guards before sending men into fire to rescue residents. Fire fighters have equipment to fight against fire but they (the security guards) didn’t have any,” said Mukesh.

 

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