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Kin, friends keep vigil as rescuers look for former ATC officer, wife feared trapped under hoarding

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NewsDrum Desk
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Mumbai, May 15 (PTI) Family members and friends have been camping at the site of the hoarding collapse in Ghatkopar since Tuesday night as retired Air Traffic Control (ATC) general manager Manoj Chansoria and his wife are feared to have been trapped under the debris.

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The search and rescue teams are working non-stop, but they know that it is a race against time.

At least 14 persons were killed and 75 injured after the huge hoarding came crashing down on a petrol pump in Chheda Nagar locality on Monday evening. Manoj Chansoria retired as a general manager at Mumbai ATC in March, and moved to Jabalpur.

A cousin of Chansoria's wife Anita told PTI at the crash site on Wednesday evening that the couple, who arrived in Mumbai for some personal work a few days ago, were heading back to Jabalpur in their red TATA-made car on Monday when the contact with them was lost.

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When the location of Chansoria's mobile phone was tracked, it showed as the spot where the petrol pump is located. It is suspected that they were at the petrol pump for refuelling when the hoarding collapsed amid gusting winds and rain.

The couple's son, who is settled in the USA, has already left for India and is expected to land here on Wednesday night, Anita's cousin said.

Many people who know Manoj and Anita Chansoria have been visiting the site after learning that they are feared to be trapped under the remains of the hoarding.

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"Manoj Chansoria is a gem of a person," said an ATC official, adding that they were hoping that there would be a miracle and the couple would be rescued unscathed.

Prashant Srivastava, a union leader of the ATC Guild, described Manoj as a very down-to-earth person and good human being.

"I am here because he always treated me like a son," the union leader added, recalling that Chansoria invited every person from the ATC to his retirement party even though he was posted in Mumbai for barely a year.

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"ATC had several general managers, but no one was like him," said Arvind Nair, who looks after the ATC guest house where the couple were staying during their Mumbai trip.

Kranti Kiran, who was recently transferred to Mumbai ATC, said he had not met Chansoria in person, but heard a lot of good things about him.

"I have been calling my sister frequently, but there is no answer. We are hoping for the best and fearing the worst," said Anita's cousin. PTI KK KRK

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