Almost 60 hours after a car packed with a family of three plunged into a Karachi nala, two of its occupants – mother and son – were fished out on Monday night.
Heart-wrenching scenes were witnessed as bodies of Yasmin, 26, and her one-and-a-half-year old son Abeer were taken out of the car. It took emergency services two days to haul out the vehicle from the Buffer Zone Nala. Everyone around was left misty-eyed as little Abeer’s stroller and other possessions were taken out of the car along with the corpses.
Pakistan Navy divers said the car was wedged vertically in the storm-water drain, held tight owing to the trash accumulated around it.
The body of Abeer’s father, 32-year-old Muzaffar, who was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident, could not be retrieved. Navy divers speculate that since the window of the driver’s side was open, the body might have been washed away by the fast-flowing waters.
Earlier, rescuers from different organisations had spent several hours trying unsuccessfully to locate and retrieve the ill-fated family. Muzaffar, a chemical engineer by profession, and his family were travelling in the grey Suzuki Cultus on the night between Saturday and Sunday when it slipped into the nala.
The tragedy occurred when the family, residents of Karachi’s Buffer Zone locality, was heading home after Eid shopping. Possibly because of the rain and night time, no-one noticed the accident. It was much later that some people alerted the police about the incident.
The fire brigade had been called but it soon gave up. “We were unable to trace and recover them as this is not water…it is like quicksand,” chief fire officer Ehtishamuddin Siddiqui told The Express Tribune. It was with the navy’s help that the two bodies were finally recovered.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2013.