‘It’s for my daughters that I’m alive’
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Victim, missing family, had decided to return to city earlier than planned.
For 23-year-old Vashisht Soni's family, his escape from the accident at Khed, 180 km from Mumbai, on Tuesday is nothing short of a miracle.
Soni, who works as an air-conditioner mechanic at a private company, was in Goa with another colleague for a three-day work tour. He was to return to Mumbai a few days later with his colleague. However, eager to be back with his family, he decided to take the Monday night bus back home.
"I was missing my family, my wife and daughters. I had completed my work and was waiting for my colleague so that we could return together. But, at the last minute on Monday night, I decided to take the bus back," said Soni, who stays in Mahim Koliwada with his wife and two-year-old twins.
When the accident occurred, Soni and about 50 others in the bus were fast asleep. "It was dark and everyone was asleep. The next thing we knew was people being flung around inside the bus. We could feel that we were falling from a height. When we hit the floor, I lost consciousness," recalls Soni, who sustained a fractured arm and hip bone, a minor concussion on his head and bruises on his face and legs. He is now recuperating at a private nursing home in Mahim.
Soni's family in Mumbai did not believe the call they got around 4.30 am. "The police officer said Vashisht had been injured and was brought back in an ambulance. However, when he said around 35 people had died, we thought Vashisht was also dead but they did not want to tell us that over the phone," said Hari Prasad, his uncle.
Doctors tending to Soni at the nursing home said it is miraculous that Soni, a slightly built man, escaped alive. "His fall must have been cushioned by other people. Even so, he sustained relatively minor fractures and fortunately not injured his neck or head. It is a matter of time that he recovers fully," said a doctor.
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