The collapse of nine of about 50 tenements, most of them single-storeyed, in a residential compound in Adugodi kept officials of the fire and emergency services on their toes for most part of Tuesday.

As many as 19 fire personnel along with police officers launched rescue operations around 9.15 a.m. after being alerted by local residents. Three water tenders and earth movers were deployed.

The officers first rescued two men and a baby from the debris. They continued search operations after residents claimed that another woman, Padma, was trapped. The body of Padma was recovered nearly four hours after the collapse. It took another hour for the body of 50-year-old Manjamma to be recovered, following which the ground where the nine tenements stood was levelled.

Residents said that a school used to operate in the compound but was shifted a few blocks away after some people claimed it was unsafe for children. At present, another school stands right next to the compound, residents claimed.

They said that some houses had collapsed a few years ago as they were old. They added that in some houses, there was leakage of water through the roof.

Relatives of the property owner claimed to have asked residents to vacate the tenements for safety reasons, but they had not done so. However, residents denied receiving any such warning.

A relative, who requested not to be named, told mediapersons that the 1.75-acre property is divided among three brothers. The portion where the tenements collapsed is owned by Jai Krishnappa. At present, he is recovering in a hospital after his left leg was amputated due to gangrene.

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