Septuagenarian escapes loss of life by a whisker

KOLKATA : Seventy-two-year-old Barun still can’t believe that he is alive. On Tuesday evening, he was relaxing on the balcony of his but moved in to take a medicine. Barely 10 minutes later, parts of the balcony collapsed as the giant banyan tree opposite the house got uprooted and came crashing down.
“I heard a loud thud and rushed to the balcony. I froze when I saw that a portion of the balcony had collapsed and a large branch had entered one of our rooms through a door. I was in a fix,” said Ganguli, who has recently undergone a heart surgery.

Ganguli’s wife Nandita thanked God for the close shave. “I was out on the balcony with my 18-month-old granddaughter minutes before the incident. I called my husband in to take a medicine at 8.15pm. At 8.25pm, the tree crushed down on it. It could have been fatal had my husband not come back inside in time,” she said.

Nandita immediately called Mala Roy, the chairperson and the local councillor, to bail them out of the crisis. Roy in turn asked the KMC parks department officials to rush to the spot and start removing the tree branches. A KMC team started work at 9.30pm.

“I will consult a structural engineer to check the foundation of the building since it is more than 100 years old,” a nervous Ganguli said.

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