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Old 2nd September 2017
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Delhi's garbage hillslide kills 2

When Delhi's mountain of shame caved in



NEW DELHI: Garbage slides are not new to residents of Khoda Colony, living as they do just around 70 metres from the edge of the landfill at Ghazipur. But Friday was the first time that they saw such a massive chunk collapse on to the road skirting the mountains of trash. And as the accumulated muck thundered down, it swept a number of cars and bikes into the Kondli canal running parallel to the road. Two died, but many more could have lost their lives if not for the quick response of the local people.

"I saw people struggling to stay afloat in the canal," said Shamsher Ali, a meat seller. Like other bravehearts, Ali climbed the colony's iron barricade and jumped into the water to rescue those trapped in the cars. He later recalled, "The water smelt horribly of the festering garbage, but I managed to pull out the driver of car that was bobbing in the water." Long-time residents of the area said that the 10-feetdeep canal is usually filled to the brim during the rainy season. "We generally do not go for a swim during the monsoon due to the swift undercurrent," said Ali. "However, today I did not think twice before plunging in. I know I could have drowned, but that did not seem too important at the time."

While two men, who were astride on a scooter and biker when thrown into the water, managed to swim to safety, another man and a woman died, possibly because they lost consciousness due to the impact of their fall.

When the fire service received information about the disaster, three fire tenders reached the spot. Divers of Delhi Boat Club and the Revenue Department were also alerted. Within an hour, teams from National Disaster Relief Force, DDMA and Delhi Police gathered at the site too, and in joint rescue operations, pulled out a number of people from the cars.

"We had to clear the voluminous muck before we could begin pulling out the vehicles on to the road," said a fire officer. There was a sense of urgency because the cops and officials feared that the heavy rains could lead to a further rise in the water level, which would have hampered the rescue efforts.

Four earthmovers and six dumpers deployed by the East Delhi Municipal Council took more than three hours to remove the garbage from the road. Cops were thankful that the incident did not affect Khoda Colony; a bigger mountain of falling trash would certainly have taken a bigger toll.

Source: http://toi.in/qvmBaa

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Old 2nd September 2017
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Old 2nd September 2017
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