The victims were working in the basement when the wall collapsed on them

The two sisters-in-law, who died after a wall collapsed on them in Kengeri on Tuesday afternoon, had started working at the construction site of an apartment complex only on Tuesday.

Young mothers

The women — mothers of toddlers and infants — who hailed from Gonabayi village of Rayadurg in Ananatpur, were part of a large group of about 70 labourers who have been working in the city for four years. The families live in small sheds in Dananayakanahalli near Doddabasti, with each member earning Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 daily.

A worker said a group of nine members had come to work that morning. Two floors of the four-storey building have been constructed.

Sunitha (name changed), who lives next door, said she was drying clothes when she heard loud screams.

That was when the wall collapsed on them from a height of nearly 15 feet: the women were working in the basement. Their colleagues rushed with spades and crowbars to remove the debris and managed to recover Mangamma’s body, which was buried nearly four feet below. Later, fire personnel helped recover Rajakka’s body.

Grief-stricken

The families of the deceased women were inconsolable. The women gathered in a huddle and wept and as their children, too young to comprehend the tragedy, lay in their laps.

Speaking to The Hindu, Bheemakka,a relative of the deceased, said Rajakka’s youngest child Bhoomika is just 8 months old. Rajakka is survived by three other children — Martamma, Nagamma, Tippesh. Mangamma’s death is equally heartrending: she is survived by her two-year-old son and a six-month-old baby.

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