Seven-year-old Sravan and four-year-old Raju were eagerly waiting for their mother Yadamma, a labourer, to return from work on Friday.
They were hoping that she would bring some snacks for them, as she does daily.
They understood something has gone wrong when their father hurriedly came home around 3 p.m. and took them to the site where a building under construction collapsed in Narayanguda.
The children did not understand what was happening when their father suddenly started crying after speaking to the police.
Yadamma was among the 11 victims who died in the building collapse. “There are so many people here. Why cannot they get back my mother to me,” Sravan asked innocently even as other relatives told him that his mother was no more. Locals and the police participating in rescue operations were moved by the child’s innocent question.
Heart rending scenes were witnessed as relatives of the victims arrived at the building collapse site and broke down on seeing the broken concrete blocks lying one on the other. “We never harmed anyone and came here to eke out livelihood. Why should God do this to us and who is responsible,” cried Yadamma’s relatives, all labourers from an interior village of Medak district.
Some of them were angry as the police did not allow them to go close to the site. “My sister Nirmala came to work here. While we’re tensed up, the police are adding to our anxiety with contradictory answers,” Yadagiri of Nehrunagar in Baghlingampally said.
He complained that while some police officials asked them to go to Gandhi hospital to identify the victims, others directed them to check up at Osmania hospital. Among the 12 victims, five were identified as Sujatha, 40, Hanmanthu, 40, Jagdish, 45, Sailoo, 30, and Yadamma, 25. One body was sent to Gandhi hospital but was later shifted to Osmania morgue where the other bodies were kept for autopsy.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah has expressed deep anguish over the incident. Talking to reporters in New Delhi, Mr. Rosaiah said preliminary information reaching him indicated that two new floors were constructed on existing building, which could have led to collapse. The Chief Minister said he had spoken to the Hyderabad Collector Navin Mittal and the GHMC Commissioner Sameer Sharma to enquire about the incident.