New Delhi: Ten people were killed and two others injured Saturday in one of the worst building collapses in the capital in recent times when a four-storey structure came crashing down.
The collapse of the four-decade-old structure at 9 a.m. in north Delhi’s Inderlok area was triggered by an ongoing construction on an adjacent plot which apparently weakened its foundation.
“Ten people have been killed and two injured in the incident. We have registered a case against the contractor (Javed) for causing death by negligence,” said a police official. Some unidentified people were also booked.
The injured were admitted to Bara Hindu Rao and Acharya Shree Bhikshu hospitals.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed grief over the loss of lives. “I pray for speedy recovery of those injured in the accident,” Singh wrote on his twitter handle.
Aam Aadmi Party chief and former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the site. The AAP alleged that “the nexus between the builder mafia and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi is solely responsible” for the tragedy.
This was the fourth such incidents in the national capital in the past nine months.
North Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Yogender Chandolia told IANS: “The poor quality material used to build the house weakened its base and it collapsed due to ongoing construction on an adjacent plot.”
All hell broke loose, when the building collapsed like a pack of cards.
Seven people, belonging to two families, residing on the third and fourth floors died in the collapse. Three others living on the second floor were also killed.
From one family, Rubina, 30, her two sons — Asif, 10, and Rehan, 7 — and daughter Aadiba, 14, died while her husband Abdul Rashid, 38, was injured. In the second family, Sahana, 28, lost her life along with her son Abdul Aadil, 7, and daughter Saba, 5, while her husband Mohammad Naim, 39, was hurt.
An MBA student from Darbhanga in Bihar – Mohammad Ezaz, 24 – who resided on the second floor, his relatives Imtiyaz Ali, 24, and Mohammad Uzale, 22, also died.
Naim and Rashid were among those who escaped the accident only to see their family member dead.
For Naim, it was a shock when his sexagenarian father Mohammad Sharif, a tailor, broke the news to him with a choked throat: “My son, Sahana (Naim’s 28-year-old wife) is no more.”
Tears rolled down Naim’s face when he was further informed about the death of his children Abdul Aadil, 7, and Saba, 5.
“He fell unconscious and said ‘Allah, why I am alive!’,” said a witness.
Meanwhile, North Delhi Municipal Corporation Commissioner Praveen Gupta ordered the suspension of the area assistant engineer and junior engineer.
“An additional commissioner (engineering) has been deputed to conduct a probe and submit the report of the incident in seven days,” said an NDMC official.