Hospital authorities accused of delay in treatment

Four children, including a brother-sister duo, were killed when the wall of an under-construction unauthorised building collapsed on them in Chhatarpur here on Sunday. Two persons have been arrested.

Nine-year-old Divya and her brother Gaurav (12) were playing carom in the yard of their house in Suman Colony with their friends Monu (10) and Nitin (11) when the fifth floor wall of the adjoining building came crashing down on them around noon injuring them seriously.

While Gaurav died on the spot, the remaining three died at Safdarjung Hospital during the treatment. The family accused the hospital authorities of delay in treatment. “The hospital authorities delayed the treatment citing the need to complete legal formalities. Had they acted promptly, our children would have been alive,” said Jitender Tiwari, the maternal uncle of Monu.

Divya and Gaurav were students of Class III and VI respectively. Their father Dhrampal is a caterer. Monu studied in Class IV and his father Vinod Tiwari is an auto-rickshaw driver. Nitin, who was also a Class IV student, was the son of a Delhi Transport Corporation bus driver Arvind Kumar.

The bodies have been kept at a mortuary and will be handed over to the families after post-mortem on Monday.

Jitender said the tragedy could have been averted had the police and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi staff not turned a blind eye to the unauthorised construction that had been going on for over two months. “The fifth floor of the building was under construction when construction beyond the third floor is not allowed. Such blatant violation of law is not possible without the active connivance of the police and the MCD staff. People are too scared to speak against influential builders and such violation is rampant everywhere in the Capital.”

Leader of the MCD House Subhash Arya, a BJP councillor, said: “The local police were informed about the unauthorised construction and the demolition action against the building was scheduled for February 29. The Deputy Commission concerned has been asked to probe the matter and submit his report within 10 days.”

Meanwhile, a case has been registered under Section 304 (culpable homicide) and Section 288 (negligent conduct with respect to repairing buildings) at the Mehrauli police station in this connection and two persons were arrested. “Sandeep Saini and Salim have been arrested in this connection. The two were carrying out the construction and were also co-owner of the building,” said a senior police officer.

The building's third owner Baldev Singh, a construction material supplier, is absconding.

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