The evening of Saturday, June 28, will continue to haunt Geetha and other residents who shared compounds with the Prime Sristi construction for the rest of their lives.

Geetha was relaxing outside her home on Raja Raja Nagar First Street on Saturday evening when she heard a loud noise. “It was the sound of a huge piece of scaffolding collapsing, but we ran to the street, assuming it was an earthquake.”

Only after rushing on to the street did Geetha realise that one of the two multi-storied apartment complexes under construction nearby had collapsed on her home.

Geetha, a homemaker, is married to Kumar and the family owns the property in which there are four rented portions.

On the first floor lived Ganesan (38), who came under the debris and died. Ganesan was living with his wife Mariammal and their daughter, Punitha, a kindergarten student.

In the impact of the collapse, the houses of Geetha and two others — S.M. Daniel and Abdul Khader — were completely damaged by falling rubble. “I built this house from my life savings in 2002 and renovated it only last year,” said Mr. Khader.

Residents of the street said they were always suspicious of the quality of the upcoming construction, especially its foundation. “The soil in the entire area is very loose and water keeps seeping in when it rains. Soon after digging and pumping out the water, the basement and trenches get flooded again,” said Shah Jahan, a tenant of Mr. Khader’s house.

The families said they should receive compensation from the government as well as the builder, and demanded strict action against the builder.

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