Tearful scenes were witnessed outside Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre in Porur on Sunday where several waited anxiously to see if their loved ones were among those rescued from the site of the building collapse.

Krishnaveni (30), who was caught under the debris for over 24 hours, was the last to be rushed to the hospital on Sunday evening.

At Government Royapettah Hospital (GRH), it was a testing time for the relatives of the six victims every time a hearse van rolled into the mortuary. Among them was Mariamma, wife of Ganesan (38), who had died in the mishap. He was sleeping in the house adjacent to the construction site when the accident occurred.

“On Saturday evening, he was sleeping in the house and I came out searching for my daughter as it started raining. It was then that the building crashed, taking the life of my husband,” she said.

Four-year-old Radha had come to Chennai along with 20 of her relatives from the village of Ilayanar Kuppam in Shankarapuram taluk, Villupuram district, in search of couple Kumar (32) and Anbazhagi (29), who had been working on the site for over a year. They had left their children, Narayanan (7) and Vijji (5), back in their village with their grandparents.

According to Anbazhagi’s sister, Manjula, they had come to Chennai on Saturday evening and searching for the couple since then. Around 2.30 p.m. on Sunday, the police informed them that there were six bodies at GRH. Manjula, her aunt Maheshwari, and uncle Dhandapani, then rushed to GRH where they found Anbazhagi’s body.

While some of the villagers have taken back Anbazhagi’s body with government help, a sizeable section has stayed back, hoping that Kumar will be rescued safely, added Manjula tearfully.

It was not just family members; depressed friends and colleagues were also at the mortuary. Manoj Kumar, a sub-contractor (plumbing), was found sitting in a contemplative mood in a corner. The three construction workers who died — Amar Kumar (25), Niranjan Karo (35) and Ali (19) — were from his neighbouring village in Orissa.

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