THANE: A day after being pulled out alive from the debris of a crashed building in Bhiwandi town, a man quickly got back on his feet and joined rescuers at the site on Tuesday, driven by zeal to help those in distress.
Khalid Abdul Khan (42) was among 25 persons who were rescued from the debris of the building by personnel of the Thane Disaster Response Force (TDRF).
The 43-year-old ‘Jilani’ building in Bhiwandi town of Thane district collapsed at 3.40 am on Monday. So far, 25 people have been killed in the crash, police said.
The dead include 11 children aged between two to 11 years, an official said.
Khan was one of the occupants of the ill-fated three- storey building. He was pulled out alive by a TDRF team after about 18 hours and given first aid at a hospital.
After leaving the hospital, on Tuesday, much to surprise of people, he came to the crash site and was seen assisting the TDRF team in rescue and relief operation.
Khan joined the TDRF team in clearing the debris and looking for survivors.
Talking to the media, Khan said while trapped under the rubble, he heard the voice of a TDRF team member who was looking for survivors and calling out for them.
The voice was of rescuer Akshay Patil.
Khan said on hearing the voice, he got confidence that he will be saved.
“It was as if God had sent him to save me. TDRF members were like ‘farishte’ (angels) sent by God,” Khan said, profusely praising rescuers for their dedication.
A force like TDRF is the need of the hour and the Maharashtra government should create many more such units, he said.
When TDRF members, who were the first to reach the scene, saved the life of a child, those present at the spot clapped and appreciated their work.
The TDRF, which comes under the Thane Municipal Corporation‘s Disaster Control Cell, was formed to deal with fallout of calamities.
The TDRF was formed in 2018 with 12 jawans and the force now has 33 personnel. It was seen in action when the Mahalaxmi Express train had got stranded in floods on outskirts of Mumbai in July 2019.
The force has also taken part in several relief and rescue operations during floods and in aftermath of building collapses in Thane district and nearby areas.

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