Video: Meet UAE braveheart who saved 5 lives in viral Dubai-flood rescue

Shahvez Khan recounts heart pounding sequence of events from ground zero


Mazhar Farooqui

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Shahvez Khan (KT Photos: Shihab)
Shahvez Khan (KT Photos: Shihab)

Published: Sat 20 Apr 2024, 4:27 PM

Last updated: Sun 21 Apr 2024, 4:40 PM

"Even a delay of a few seconds could have meant the difference between life and death," said Shahvez Khan, whose courageous actions, despite sustaining injuries, have captivated the nation.

Just three days after his daring rescue, he found himself once again at the same underpass in Dubai where he had risked everything to save five individuals trapped inside a submerged truck.

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Accompanied by a journalist from Khaleej Times, he recounted the heart-pounding events that unfolded during the unprecedented rains on Tuesday.

Shahvez Khan
Shahvez Khan

"I was returning to my accommodation in Toyota Building after offering late Asr prayers at a nearby mosque," recounted the 27-year-old cricket enthusiast, hailing from Phalauda, a quaint town in Meerut district in north India. "That's when I spotted a yellow SUV struggling through the flooded underpass near Coca Cola Arena."

Surrounded by curious onlookers capturing the scene on their smartphones, Shahvez faced a critical moment. "I asked for help, but they hesitated," he recalled. "I knew time was of the essence. Even if I circled around the road and swam to the underpass, it would be too late."

With adrenaline surging through his veins, Shahvez made a split-second decision to leap over 20 feet from the bridge into the water below. Unbeknownst to him, two cars lay submerged below the surface. His landing was jarring, but Khan ignored the pain.

The SUV was rapidly sinking, its occupants trapped and gasping for air. "It was truly terrifying," Shahvez recalled, "seeing them pounding on the windows, struggling to keep their heads above water."

As he swiftly climbed on top of the car, a worker from a nearby construction site passed him a hammer. With the assistance of three bystanders, Shahvez shattered the glass rooftop, pried it open, and rescued all five occupants.

"There were two Arab men in the front seats and three passengers in the back, including an Indian woman, a Filipina, and an Indian man," Shahvez recounted.

"They trembled with fear. The women lacked swimming skills, so I improvised using a pipe from the construction site to guide them to safety," he added.

Shahvez suffered injuries during the rescue, putting his passion for cricket in jeopardy and leaving him unable to play for now. Glass shards from the car pierced his hands and feet, causing heavy bleeding, while the impact of the fall injured his ribs and back.

"I still don't have my Emirates ID, so the clinics didn't attend to me, and I had to rely on my roommates for dressings," explained Shahvez, who works as a trainee auditor.

Shahvez's roommates, Abu Baker from Senegal, and Mohammad Usman from Pakistan, eagerly anticipate his return to cricket.

Shahvez Khan with friends Mohammad Usman and Abu Baker
Shahvez Khan with friends Mohammad Usman and Abu Baker

"He's an amazing guy, loyal to the core," Abu Baker said, claiming to be Shahvez's first friend in the UAE. "It's incredible how he became a superhero within just 8 months of arriving in the country."

Shahvez's heroic act gained widespread acclaim after a video shared by his company's CEO went viral. However, Shahvez remains humble. "It was God that saved them," he said, "I am just a medium."

As Shahvez continues his recovery, an unexpected honour awaits him. Manju Ramanan, consulting for the upcoming Bollywood movie "Gabru Gang," revealed that Shahvez has been selected among five UAE flood heroes to be felicitated alongside reel-life heroes at the film's press conference at Flora Hotel, followed by the premiere on April 25 at Deira City Centre.

She highlighted the enthusiastic support of the film's director, Sameer Khan, and producers Vivek Sinha and Ashish Kohli of Interglobe Developments. Sameer Khan said: "We wanted to pay tribute to the incredible efforts of these flood warriors and create a platform where reel-life heroes could meet real-life ones, and Shahvez was the perfect choice."


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