After remaining in a coma for several years, the last of the injured survivors of serial blasts on Mumbai suburban trains on July 11, 2006, died in Mumbai early Tuesday, officials said.
A Bhayander resident, Parag Sawant, 36, had sustained serious head injuries and brain trauma in a blast on one such train.
He is survived by his wife Priti and eight-year-old daughter Praniti. Sawant never saw his only child as she was born after he went into a coma. His wife was given a job in the Indian Railways to help sustain the family.
During is long stay at the hospital, Parag Sawant became a popular figure among the people for his will to live. He regained consciousness briefly in 2008, and was visited by personalities like former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani and union minister Sushma Swaraj.
The 7/11 serial blasts on Mumbai suburban trains were carried out in a time span of barely 11 minutes, targetting crowded suburban train services during evening peak hours.
As many as 209 commuters were killed and more than 700 others injured as bombs kept in pressure cookers went off in north-bound locals of the Western Railway at Bhayander, Borivali, Jogeshwari, Khar Road, Bandra, Mahim and Matunga Road. One unexploded bomb was found by police and defused at Borivali.
Then aged 27, Sawant was travelling in a Churchgate-Virar train to his home when a bomb ripped apart a coach near Bhayander, a suburban town in adjoining Thane district.
He was rushed to Bhaktivedanta Hospital on Mira Road and later shifted to P.D. Hinduja Hospital in south Mumbai.
He remained in a coma for about two years, said consultant neurosurgeon Dr. B.K. Misra, who attended on him.
“His condition gradually improved to a semiconscious state, in which he understood simple commands. He underwent multiple operations for brain treatment and was thereafter on supportive care and physiotherapy for a few years,” Misra recalled.
A nurse had checked on Sawant early Tuesday, and found him stable. However, around 6 a.m., the oxygen level in his blood dropped and he was put on oxygen to stabilise his breathing.
“He suffered sudden cardio-respiratory arrest, after which a cardio-pulmonary resuscitation team took all measures to revive him but in vain. Parag Sawant was declared dead at 6:54 a.m due to cardio-respiratory arrest. The most likely possibility of immediate deterioration in his condition is pulmonary embolism,” Misra said.
Hospital director and senior medico Sanjay Agarwala said the staff rendered utmost care to Sawant during his stay at the hospital for almost nine years.
“I am sad to hear the news. In fact, last week, I was discussing with his family members my plans to visit Parag at the hospital on the ninth anniversary of the 7/11 blasts on Saturday. His family and Parag took the tragedy bravely,” said Kirit Somaiya, BJP parliamentarian from Mumbai North-East. (IANS)