Loosened soil under 15-ft wall adjoining their house caused the collapse
Nagarathnamma, mother of the two boys who died in the roof collapse in Domlur early on Saturday, seemed to be unaware of the death of her sons even after she was taken to the hospital. She appeared to nurse hopes that her sons may recover from their injuries and showed concern over the approaching school test of her elder son, a class nine student.
Nagarathnamma (36) and her two sons were asleep in their house when the roof and a portion of the wall came crashing down on them.
Police said a metal almirah next to where Nagarathnamma was sleeping prevented the wall from collapsing on her. While she slept on the floor, her sons slept on a cot in the same room.
Their house is one among a row of houses that adjoin the 15-foot high compound wall of the Army Service Corps (ASC) Centre of the Army.
Police said the heavy rain that lashed the city on Friday night led to loosening of the soil underneath the high compound wall of the ASC. The broken bits of soil and rubble fell on the asbestos roof of Nagarathnamma’s house, bringing it crashing down on the two boys sleeping below. The portion of their wall also tumbled down.
The two young boys Manoj (14) and Tanuj Kumar (12) were both high-school students at the KRLS English School. Their father, Ramachandra, a security guard in a private company in Koramanagala, was on duty when the incident took place. He had finished dinner and had left for his night shift while the rest of the family went to bed.
Nagarathnamma said that she and her husband had held many hopes for their two children as both of them were bright students. “Manoj wanted to become a software engineer,” she said tearfully.
The residents of the area held the unstable compound wall as the primary reason for the mishap. The residents have been living in the area for over 30 years and a few of them said they had even opposed the construction of the wall fearing their safety.
They said that some precautionary measures had to be taken during the construction itself, which started about two months ago.
District-in-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy visited the spot along with Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan and Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana. Mr. Reddy said the military compound wall was built in an unscientific manner and had an unstable foundation. With so many residents around the area, the army officials must keep in mind their safety and security and ensure that there is mutual co-operation and understanding, he said.
The authorities have announced compensation of Rs. 2 lakh to the family from the government and another Rs. 1 lakh from the BBMP. The Mayor has also directed the BBMP Commissioner to take steps to demolish the military compound wall as it is unsafe for the residents living so close to the wall. He also said that a total of 37 houses were located in A.K. Colony and the BBMP would be setting up new houses for them under the 22.7 per cent welfare scheme.
The Commissioner said he has already written to the military authorities for the demolition of the wall.