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Heroes of Jalandhar who saved many lives


Jyoti Kamal,CNN-IBN
Apr 26, 2012 at 10:00am IST

Jalandhar: In a building collapse in Jalandhar, as many as 20 lives were lost while hundreds of people were saved, thanks to the rescue workers who worked tirelessly for a week. Here's the story of the heroes of Jalandhar.

Directing the team of rescue workers was Des Raj of the Shah Satnam Green Welfare Force. An arm of the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda, the body of volunteers had rushed to the spot and worked frantically to rescue survivors.

"When we got the news of the factory collapse in Jalandhar, we immediately sent across the message to members of the Shah Satnam Green Welfare Force. All of them gathered as per the teachings of our guru and now 1200 have been working night and day to render whatever help we can," said Des Raj.

Like an army, uniformed, organised and disciplined, they also carried out the painstaking job of clearing debris. And just a few feet away, the real soldiers were hard at work too.

Colonel Simarjeet Singh, the Commanding Officer of 103rd Engineer Regiment, had been guiding his men almost nonstop. The jawans crawled into dangerous crevices to bring out trapped survivors.

"There is mortal danger over here because of the debris, there is chemical over here which is hazardous, there is inflammable material inside which could start a fire and so we can't use torch cutters, there is stink from dead bodies, plenty of difficulties, but nevertheless we are pushing forward," said Colonel Singh.

With time running out, the civilian machine operators were also working overtime, breaking, raking up and clearing the rubble. They could not afford a rest, lest it costs a life.

"I have spent three days and three nights here. It is not important for me to go home, because one minute that I spend resting, can cost someone his life," said Harjinder Singh

Men and machines are under strain. For days now rescuers here have been battling adverse working conditions, fatigue and the stench of death. The urgency is to take any survivors out and when that does not happen, to at least hand over bodies to loved ones. It is a job that needs to be done and these men are going to do it.

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