As his house crumbled around him, 5-year-old Shifan sat quietly beneath the dining table, without even trying to move out. His mother and sisters had died in front of him, as a concrete wall fell on their little hut in Nedumangad of Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.
The wall fell due to the heavy rains and winds that lashed southern Kerala on Thursday evening, and Shifan’s mother Sajina (26), and his sisters - 3-year-old Shafana and six-month-old Shahin - were crushed under the concrete.
“Their neighbour’s 15-feet high compound wall collapsed and fell on top of their house in the heavy rain and wind. When the wall collapsed, soil was also eroded and fell on top of the house. It was a tile roofed house and it broke down immediately,” Nedumangad station house officer Shibu told The News Minute.
“After we took out Sajina and the two children, we were surprised to see Shifan sitting beneath the dining table. He looked so terrified and was crying. But even after the house completely broke down, he did not try to come out of the table until we took him out. He just had few scratches and fractures in his body,” the officer said.
He said that the table was buried under mud and stones, and that they did not expect the child to be beneath that.
“When we brought them out of the house Sajina and Shafana were conscious but died on the way to hospital. Shifan was not able to speak that he was too shocked,” the police officer said.
Shifan who was admitted in Nedumangad district hospital was discharged on Friday morning.
The officer said that since Shafana and Shahin were small, Sajina could have managed to run out by carrying the two of them. “She might have waited inside the house to get them all, may be that is why she couldn’t run out,” the officer said.
When the accident happened, Sajina’s parents Salim and Nusaiba had gone out for work. Her husband Shihabudheen, an auto driver, was also not at home at the time of the tragedy.