Youth locked in NY-bound shoes container rescued

NAVI MUMBAI: It was supposed to be a container filled with 'export quality' women's leather shoes. But instead of some mild click-clacks there came the noise of thumping and loud knocks. When the container was opened at Nhava Sheva on Saturday morning, just before the "shoes" could be shipped to New York, there emerged from it a somewhat dazed 22-year-old youth.
A worker at the Mira Road-based footwear company from where the container had left, he had apparently gone off to sleep inside and had been accidentally locked in.
The locked container was opened after Customs officials at the port area of Nhava Sheva were alerted about knocking sounds emerging from it. The container had started its journey from Mira Road early on Saturday. Nhava Sheva police told TOI the youth has been identified as Farooq Ahmed Shahbuddin Ahmed (see inset), a worker at the Mira Road-based firm from where the container had left with 555 cartons of ladies leather footwear.
At 9 am, just before the container was to enter the crucial port area, Ahmed was taken out of it by breaking the seal.
The youth has told the authorities that he had "gone off to sleep" inside the container. "Someone may have unknowingly locked him without checking inside and transported it to Nhava Sheva. We are further inquiring into the matter by talking to the youth and other company representatives," said a police officer at Nhava Sheva
The youth is reportedly a resident of Mira Road and originally hails from Assam.
Asked if it was possible the youth might have been trying to illegally go out of the country in this manner via the sea route, the cops said they will look at all possible angles before coming to any conclusion.
However, since a cargo ship takes at least 20 hours to go from Nhava Sheva to New York, it is not possible for any human to survive for so long inside the container.
Senior inspector Rukmini Galande said the youth's blood test has been conducted "to ascertain whether he was under influence of liquor due to which he fell asleep inside the container. As of now, we have not registered any offence against the youth."

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