Villagers rescue family after car falls into river

Four members of a family who were driving from Vavanje village to Taloja Phase I had a narrow escape after their car plunged into a river on Monday.

The incident happened around 12 p.m. when Ashraf Khalil Shaikh (37), employed with a private company in Taloja MIDC, was headed to his brother’s house in Taloja Phase I.

Travelling with him were his wife Hamida (33), daughter Suhana (7) and neice Nameera Rautullah Shaikh (17).

Mr. Shaikh said the car went off the bridge at Ghot village in Taloja Phase II and plunged into the river beneath. “The bridge had no fencing. The car sank at least 50 feet before breaking surface. It was pushed along for a bit by the flowing water before getting stuck between some rocks. The impact with the rocks cracked the windscreen, and I broke through the glass and climbed onto the bonnet. I pulled out the children and my wife. Sitting on the bonnet, I shouted for help. Villagers rushed to our aid.”

Narayan Gangaram Patil, Lahi Narayan Patil, Lakshman Vaaman Dhumal, Tulsiram Baliram Nighukar and Rupeah Rama Patil of Ghot village helped rescue the family.

Mr. Dhumal said, “We called for a JCB and threw a rope to the family. Some of us entered the water, tied one end to the car and pulled them out one by one. The JCB pulled the car out. This bridge has no security fencing. We hope at least now, the government does something.”

The Shaikhs were taken to a nearby hospital, and were discharged after treatment for minor injuries. “The car is completely damaged, but we’re thankful that lives our were saved. The kids are traumatised by the incident,” Mr. Shaikh said.

Heavy rains have caused much damage to road infrastructure in Navi Mumbai, including the Sion-Panvel highway.

The bridge had no fencing. The car sank at least 50 feet before breaking surface. It was pushed along by the flowing waterAshraf Khalil Shaikh

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