A heavy, concrete sunshade crushed a construction worker to death while he was working at the site of a house on Bricklin Road in Otteri on Thursday.

His co-worker, who witnessed the accident, went into a state of shock and died on the spot. However, the cause of death is yet to be determined.

The police identified the victims as Ravi (45), a construction worker and resident of Chellappa Street, Otteri, and Vijayakumar (40), also a resident of Chellappa Street.

The accident took place on the first floor of a building under construction on 5 Lane. The owner, Babyammal, resides nearby. The work started a few months ago after Babyammal employed Ravi, Vijayakumar and a few others to construct the two-storey building in the locality packed with small houses.

Around 11.20 a.m. on Thursday, Ravi was sitting on a makeshift wooden plank on the first floor and was applying cement on the underside of a sunshade constructed a few days ago.

“Suddenly the heavy slab gave way and fell. It hung loose from the iron rods placed beneath the concrete. Ravi got crushed in between the sunshade and the building’s wall and died on the spot,” said J. Raja, a resident of the neighbouring house.

Vijayakumar, who witnessed Ravi’s death at close quarters, collapsed instantly and died, Raja added. The debris from the sunshade fell on the asbestos roof of a nearby house, damaging it.

According to the police, the cement that Ravi was applying made the sunshade unstable and resulted in its collapse.

Babyammal’s relatives who were seen at the spot refused to comment on the incident.

An Otteri police team reached the spot and carried out a preliminary probe. The bodies of the men were sent to Government Kilpauk Hospital for post-mortem. Lane of Bricklin Road which is packed with small house and its thick population lot were seen in shock after the deaths took place. A case has been registered and further investigation is under way.

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