Two persons were killed and four injured when the concrete beam of a building housing a line of shops came crashing on them here on Monday.

The concrete beam collapsed when the brick shade over the beam was being removed by the workers to replace overhead asbestos sheets with tin sheets.

Police have identified the dead as Srayipallil Jayamol, 40, who ran a shopping centre in the building, and Kannattil Ratheesh, 33, an electrician.

Those injured were working over the beam, removing the bricks, when it fell on Jayamol standing in front of her shop and Rateesh, who was replacing the wiring inside one of the four shops. Jayamol was the chairperson of the Community Development Society of the Kudumbasree unit.

The injured have been admitted to a private hospital at Kattappana. Their injuries were not serious, said hospital sources.

The beam that fell apart was an add-on to the main structure. Nearby businessmen alleged that the unscientific construction of the age-old structure with improper maintenance resulted in the accident.

Soon after the accident, local people and merchants tried to rescue the victims from amid the rubble but couldn’t haul the heavy concrete pillars away. Later, firemen from Kattappana and the Vandanmedu police led the rescue operation with the help of two earth movers and the bodies were recovered.

A silent march was organised in Puttady in the afternoon to pay tribute to the victims. Shops remained closed and autorikshaws and taxis stayed off the road.

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