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Taltala teenager spreading out mattress dies after toppling over 3rd-floor parapet

Rasia Khatoon was frail and recuperating after being down with typhoid
The landing as it looks from inside the building

Monalisa Chaudhuri   |   Calcutta   |   Published 31.10.19, 09:02 PM

A teenager trying to spread a mattress on the parapet of the third-floor landing of a staircase toppled over and fell on the road on Thursday morning. The 18-year-old was declared dead in hospital a little later.

Rasia Khatoon, the youngest of three siblings, was frail and recuperating after being down with typhoid, family members said.

“Bahut dubli thi, aur kamzor bhi (she was very thin and weak, too),” a relative told Metro on Thursday.

Rasia, who was a little over four-feet tall, toppled over the three-feet-high parapet while trying to spread a mattress that should be at least half her body weight, a police officer said quoting witnesses.

Rasia used to live with her parents and elder sister in a flat on the third floor of a four-storey building in a congested neighbourhood near the Taltala market, off SN Banerjee Road.

The family, which sleeps on the floor, had taken out the mattress keeping the approaching winter in mind. Rasia was trying to remove the damp from the mattress, which had been left unused since last winter, by spreading it on the third-floor papapet under the sun.

The accident happened around 6.40am, when most family members were yet to wake up.

“Sudden screams of people in the neighbourhood woke me up. People were yelling my daughter’s name. My first instinct was to look for her in the house. But she was nowhere inside. I ran to the balcony and saw her lying on the ground in a pool of blood,” mother Rehana Khatoon recounted.

The girl’s father, Hasibur Rahman, is a biryani cook, while her mother is a homemaker. The elder daughter of Rehana and Hasibur studies in Class XI, while their son shifted to Murshidabad after marriage.

“Rasia had left school after Class XI. She used to help her parents in their work,” said a relative. The girl, who usually kept to herself, had a hen and a pigeon as friends.

Rasia was talking to the pigeon when her grandmother, a resident of Eliot Road, met her on Wednesday. “I saw her talking to the pigeon yesterday. That was the last time I saw her. Today she is no more. I still cannot believe that,” said Rasia’s grandmother.

The balconies of the building are secured with grilles but the landing of the staircase are open and the parapet is only about three feet high. A concrete road passes right in front of the building.

Some neighbours were sitting and chatting in the congested area when they suddenly saw the girl topple over and fall in the middle of the road.

“It happened so suddenly. We could hardly react. We heard a sound and the next moment she was lying on the ground, badly hurt,” said a neighbour.

“She was my son, not daughter. I often return late from work. She used to wait for me every night and ask me if I needed a head massage. She would take care of me just like a son does,” father Hasibur said.

Officers of Taltala police station said they were not suspecting any foul play behind the fatal fall.


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