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Ramesh Roopnarine, his wife Selicia and kids stand in front their collapsed home at San Francique Road in Penal yesterday.

A Penal couple and their three children escaped death yesterday after their home came crashing down on top of them. Relatives ran to their assistance and pulled them out to safety. Although heartbroken at losing their home and most of their belongings, a tearful Selicia and Ramesh Roopnarine were also thankful that apart from a few scrapes and bruises no one was hurt. It was a case of deja vu for the Roopnarines as this was the second time their home collapsed in 12 years. They blamed the two incidents on a massive landslip along the San Francique Road that is also threatening other houses, including the homes of Roopnarine´s two brothers. Yesterday’s incident occurred around 12.30 pm. The couple and their children, ages, 11, six and two, had just returned from church and was cooking lunch. The couple broke down in tears as they recalled the incident.

“We heard a loud noise and the flooring gave way underneath us and we came down and then the whole house around us came down afterwards.” Thankfully, she said her brother in law caught her second daughter as she was falling. Clutching her daughter tightly, the mother said she tried to shield the child.

“The reason I get all the scrapes is because when the crack happened I grab her against me so nothing could scrape her. I could not hold on to anything so I just went with the house backwards.”

The couple was able to salvage a few things, but most of their belongings were destroyed.

When the landslip occurred 12 years ago, Roopnarine said his house collapsed and they had to rebuild at another spot. He said work on the landslide was done under the previous administration but it was not completed. However, he said the work, which included piling, caused their home to shift. But, he said their complaints fell on deaf ears.

“We always in fear that this would have happen,” said Selicia.

Roopnarine is pleading for a home for his family.

“We need help, we need a place to stay, we need food, we lose everything.”

Avocat/San Francique MP Doodnath Mayhroo is calling for the Roopnarines, as well as the other affected families, to be relocated. In the interim, however, he called on the Social Development Ministry to approve the three-month rental grant for the Roopnarines. Mayhroo said Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan has given an undertaken to commence work on the landslip in September. Anyone willing to assist the family can contact them at 390-5021.