KARACHI: On Sunday evening, a family met with a tragic incident when their bicycle fell into an open patch of a Shadman Nullah under construction, leaving the mother dead and the infant son missing in the drain.
The scenes at the incident site were heartbreaking.
The residents, who were crying themselves, were trying to console the man who had lost his wife and two-month-old son.
When I arrived there, a huge crowd had gathered around the open nullah plot, which turned out to be a death trap for the family.
A day after the tragedy, the search for a missing baby is still ongoing
Rescuers and eyewitnesses told Dawn that a man with his wife and two children – a two-year-old girl and a two-month-old boy – were riding their bikes and took a ride assuming the unfenced open drain was a U-tour due to darkness and fell into it.
It should be mentioned here that people who travel this road daily know that it is always dark here and the streetlights do not work.
This time, at the time of darkness, the man lost his wife and a son due to the collective failure of the stakeholders.
Speaking to Dawn, one of the witnesses said it was around 8 p.m. when the family fell into the open area of the nullah. His little girl was sitting on the bike’s gas tank, and when they fell down the drain, the father quickly grabbed her and threw her down the road to save her life.
Later, people rescued the man, but the wife and son drowned due to high water pressure.
Chippa volunteers then arrived at the scene and began searching for the missing woman and her underage son. The woman’s body was found after an hour and a half of effort and was taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. However, rescuers, even after more than 20 hours, could not find the son.
Mr. Nadeem, who was a relative of the family and also owns a mechanical workshop near the scene of the incident, said that the family belonged to the town of Orangi and that they were going to attend a dinner near the city of Shadman.
Local Shadman residents told Dawn that the patch was dug up months ago on instructions from Central Deputy Commissioner Taha Saleem to clean the nullah so it wouldn’t overflow during monsoon rains, but it has not been closed or secured by the authorities.
However, DC Central Taha Saleem refuted the claim and said that the nullah was under construction and part of an ongoing mega project worth Rs 1 billion and that is why the drain was excavated and “fenced,” but he suspected that the fences may have been washed away by heavy flooding.
“They [the aggrieved family] maybe they don’t know because they’re not locals,” he said, speaking to Dawn.
He added that the patch has now been covered to avoid such an incident again.
It was not the first case of this nature. During this monsoon period, another cyclist also fell in the Shadman Nullah as the road was flooded with rainwater and the fence was broken, but he was luckily rescued immediately by people around.
Women’s Development Minister Shehla Raza had also gone through a similar agony, when her two children – Aks-i-Batool, 13, and Shayan, 10 – drowned when her car skidded into an unsanitary sewer. fencing. Ms Raza was also injured in the incident in November 2005.
Posted in Dawn, July 19, 2022