Monday, February 28, 2011

Fire in the hostel!

While settling in for the evening last night, Brent and I noticed the lights start to flicker in the room. We didn't think too much of this as there is constant power cuts and as the temperature increases daily so too do the cuts. It wasn’t until a strange chemical smell started to fill the room that we thought to take a look and when we opened the door we were shocked to find the corridor filling with smoke. Simultaneously curious girls also opened there hostel rooms but greeted the situation in absolute chaos, screaming and crying with fright. I decided to go and fetch the guards and as I did so the fuse box burst into flames only an arm’s length away from our rooms. Stupidly, our young female neighbours panicked and locked themselves into their rooms.

While I struggled to stress the urgency of the situation to the guards in a mix of broken Hindi and English, Brent tried to negotiate with the girls, screaming at them to get out. Thankfully, just as he was about to set the fire alarm off he noticed an extinguisher and was able to put the fire out. A few minutes later (and a few too late) the guards and military arrived to assess the situation. As it turns out, a piece of plastic sitting on the fuse box heated up and caught on fire blowing the fuse box and setting the surrounding cables on fire. As Brent later pointed out, not much damage could have been done considering our building is brick but I suggested to the warden that the girls be given some basic fire training and knowledge of how to use the extinguisher. We are so thankful they didn’t try to put the fire out with water!

Brent and I are constantly joking about the safety hazards around the university and how in Australia they would be fenced off or signed as dangerous or even lead to closure. In India and in the university itself it is not uncommon to have to step over fallen crackling power lines to get to your next class. No one walks too close to the faculties as bricks and other materials are often been thrown off without warning and I have literally climbed over knee high rubble of bricks and building materials to get into a room. The entire university is constantly under construction with noisy building going on day and night. I was starting to think that in Australia we are just too cautious, but after last night’s fright I am happy for my country’s safety and security.  

1 comment:

  1. I am begining to think you were dragged to India by some Divine Higher power you are having such a possitive affect on everything you touch love from your Biggest Fan xxx