Ghatkopar residents shocked

Residents of Panchashul Chawl in the suburb of Ghatkopar were still in shock on Monday afternoon after the death of 27 persons who were part of the wedding celebrations on Sunday evening in the residential area.

Unable to control his grief, Sopan Kokate, grandfather of the bride, said the family is still coming to terms with the fact that so many family members lost their lives after a joyous occasion.

Kokate, grandfather of Manisha Gaikwad, said the bride and her newly wedded husband Eknath Bahule from Pune are both safe. They were not part of the entourage in the two buses. Manisha and Sanjay's immediate families too had reached Pune safely, he added. "One moment we were really happy with the wedding celebrations. Everything had gone according to our plans. And then we were shattered by this news," Kokate said.

The wedding ceremony took place in the Samajkalyan Wedding hall in Ambedkar nagar, Ghatkopar around 4.30 pm. By 8 pm, the guests had left for Pune.

The total number of passengers was around 50. A total of two mini buses, one Winger and one sumo had left the venue, with the Winger and the Sumo reaching their destination without any incident.

"What can be more sad? Small children and women died," Kokate said.

He said the family received a call around 4 am about the disaster. Around 25 men from the Ghatkopar chawl rushed to Khopoli to help move the bodies, identify victims and take the injured to hospital.

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