Thursday, February 25, 2010

Panic gripped everyone

A video grab of a man jumping from the Carlton Tower in panic to his death

"Our office did not catch fire but we ran out in panic," said Anitha, who works as a secretary in Salmi UK Ltd.

"Our valuables were missing when we came back." While she lost her mobile and purse, the miscreants had walked away with laptops and cash.

Fall of man: Even as people jumped from the Carlton Tower in panic to their deaths (see video above), thieves were busy stealing valuables from the stranded, including Pekka Molkka's (inset) passport. Pics/ SATISH BADIGER

Panic gripped everyone

Salmi UK Ltd, a dealer in zips, has its office on fourth floor of the building, and employees panicked when smoke came gushing in, followed by screams outside, around 3.30 pm. They ran out without locking the office.

Pekka Molkka, director of the company, lost his passport, apart from Rs 10000 from his cupboard. " We have to calculate the total loss since the robbers took away purses of the lady staff, bags, and some gadgets.

Even the dead not spared

The thieves clearly had no remorse. They removed credit cards, mobiles and watches from offices in the building. Some even rifled the pockets of the dead.

The family of the CEO of a multinational company, who died in the Carlton Tower blaze,
confirmed this startling fact.
Most of the people who rushed to help didn't come back empty handed. "They came back with whatever they could get," said an eyewitness at the spot.

"As I was running out, someone snatched my laptop and I had no time to look for him," said Sandeep Kulkarni, an employee with Acer.

Worse, some of the occupants blamed that the cops had joined the robbing spree. "The police flicked mobiles while clearing offices," said a Wipro employee, who was in the building when it caught fire.

Refuting the charges, ACP B B Ashok Kumar, who was on the spot, said, "I didn't see any member of our staff do it. Please don't malign the police." Some rescuers said they took valuables so they could save the stuff from the fire. "Whom does this belong to? I took this just to prevent damage and now I can't find the owner," asked Preetham, a passerby with a laptop in his hand, who had rushed to help people caught in the fire.


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