Five children were orphaned as their parents were buried alive after a wall and the asbestos roof of their mud house at Ambedkarnagar in Whitefield caved in Thursday evening.

The police said construction workers B.V. Venkatesh (45) and his wife Narayanamma (35) of V. Kota in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh were trapped under the debris. The couple had breathed their last by the time neighbours and the police cleared the rubble.

The couple, who had returned from work at a construction site near ITPB, was resting in their house. While Narayanamma stretched out on the floor, Venkatesh was sitting in a chair near her when the wall collapsed on them around 5 p.m. Their eldest daughter Eshwaramma (21), who was washing clothes in front of the house, screamed for help, and residents of the area rushed in and cleared the debris.

According to the police, Venkatesh had taken the old mud house on lease four years ago from one Kumar for Rs. 50,000. Kumar’s elder brother Allu Ramanna is now constructing a house, using hollow bricks, on the site next to the mud house. There is a four-foot-wide passage between the two houses and Ramanna had reportedly stocked mud in the passage. As water from the house under construction was constantly flowing into the passage, the wall of the old mud house had weakened.

Of the couple’s five children, Eshwaramma is an arts graduate. Two daughters, Padma (17) and Shoba (14), work as domestic help while the remaining two, Srinvasa Murthy (15) and Ramya (12), live with their grandparents.

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