Inconsolable friends mourn victims

Inconsolable friends mourn victims

Inconsolable friends mourn victims

A pall of gloom descended on Vellore hospital near Ranipet on Saturday when the bodies of the victims of an effluent-tank mishap arrived for post-mortem.

Most of the victims’ friends, especially those hailing from West Bengal, were in tears.

“It is my saddest day. I don't know how I will explain this to their parents at home,” said Samsudeen, a friend of victims Pyar Khan, Afeez Khan, Shahjahan and Ali Akbar.

Samsudeen had come with his friends from the Midnapore district of West Bengal in search of employment at any leather factory at Ranipet. However, since he failed to get a job with his friends at the leather factory, he went to Chennai and was employed in a hotel.

He said he would help the government hand over the bodies of his friends to their parents. “The worst part is that I am accompanying the bodies,” he said.

Musthafa, who came to see his friends' bodies after hearing the news, said: “I received a call very early in the morning from my friend Akram Khan's phone. However, it was not his voice. It was the cops, who said my friend had perished in a mishap.” 

Tears welled up in his eyes as he said: “Akram Khan was about to get engaged.”A senior police official deployed near the hospital told Deccan Herald that consoling the victims' friends was difficult. “They were very emotional,” he said.

Kalliappan, the cousin of security guard Sampath who died in the mishap, said: “He was very soft-spoken and very helpful. We have not been able to come to terms with what has happened.” 

Kalliappan had come to Vellore hospital to receive Sampath's body.

Bodies on train

Police sources said the bodies of nine victims would be sent by train to their respective homes on Saturday night. “The bodies will reach there on Monday morning, escorted by a police team,” said the police official.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam expressed grief over the death of the 10 people, and announced an assistance of Rs 3 lakh each to the families of the deceased. 

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