Samir Arora, the Singapore-based founder of Helios Capital Management Pte. (Source: Samir Arora’s verified twitter handle)

Fund Manager Slips Into Mumbai Manhole and Survives to Tell Tale

(Bloomberg) -- A hedge fund manager is the latest victim of India’s crumbling infrastructure.

Samir Arora, the Singapore-based founder of Helios Capital Management Pte., had a miraculous escape after he fell into an open manhole outside a popular shopping mall in Mumbai’s Lower Parel area Thursday.

“It was scary as hell and smelly. Was within micro seconds of disappearing,” Arora said in a tweet. “Quick reflexes and shape of manhole gave me second life.” He escaped with minor scratches as he held on to the sides before being pulled out.

Mumbai, India’s financial capital, has seen repeated accidents recently due to deteriorating infrastructure and bureaucratic lapses. More than half a dozen people were killed last month when a bridge, maintained by the city’s municipal body, collapsed -- the sixth bridge-related mishap in two years. A city doctor fell into a manhole on a flooded street and died minutes away from his home in August 2017.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party has pledged to spend $1.44 trillion on upgrading infrastructure and living standards if it returns to power in the ongoing general elections. The BJP and its regional ally Shiv Sena have run Mumbai’s civic authority for over two decades, and face voters when the city goes to polls on Monday.

While Arora was lucky to have survived, his phone wasn’t.

“If the BMC finds my Samsung phone in the drain they can keep it with my compliments,” he tweeted.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.