The five-decade-old load-bearing structure, built with lime and mortar, crumbled around 6.45 a.m. on the busy R.P. Road. Most of the victims were labourers and hotel workers.

Twelve people were buried alive when City Light, Secunderabad’s noted Irani hotel, collapsed on Monday morning. One person died of his injuries in hospital. Among the dead was the hotel owner’s son. Nineteen people were injured.

The five-decade-old load-bearing structure, built with lime and mortar, crumbled around 6.45 a.m. on the busy R.P. Road. Most of the victims were labourers and hotel workers. The labourers were having their morning bun and tea.

Teams from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and police reached the site within minutes and tried their best to save lives. But they were ill-equipped. It was only after disaster management experts from the National Industrial Security Academy (NISA) arrived, several people could be taken out from debris.

GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu said water seepage from a newly-built overhead tank on the ground plus one floor building and construction of brick kilns on the roof for making Ramzan delicacy ‘haleem’ weakened the structure. “The weight of brick kilns and the heat generated too might have damaged the building.”

Local people said a rolling shutter was fixed on the ground floor and two tractor-loads of bricks were sent to the first floor to construct more kilns in the last few days.