Was being demolished to make way for IT headquarters
Eight persons were injured when a two-storey building which was part of the B-Block Barracks on Kasturba Gandhi Marg opposite Hyderabad House collapsed while being demolished on Wednesday.
The eight injured labourers who were carrying out the demolition work in the building were rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where they were administered first-aid for minor injuries and subsequently discharged.
According to RML Hospital Medical Superintendant Dr. Sindhu, only one of the eight injured had been admitted to the hospital to conduct X-ray for possible fractures. “Fortunately the accident was not major and the labourers only sustained minor injuries. Seven of them were discharged after first-aid and one patient taken for X-ray test,” he added.
According to Delhi Fire Service, the call about the building collapse was received at 4-34 p.m. following which a squad was sent there for rescue and debris removal. The roof had been demolished and the labourers were trying to remove the wall of the building's upper floor when the entire wall collapsed and the building caved in.
The barrack building belonging to Central Government was allotted to the Revenue Department and was being demolished to aid construction of the new “Rajasva Bhawan” or headquarters of the Income Tax Department. To carry out the demolition, the building premises housing various Central and State government offices including CPWD and Public Works Department had been vacated about five months ago.
A PWD official said: “These barracks was originally built in 1942 during the Second World War as temporary structures and had undergone re-roofing exercise in 1982 during the Asiad Games in the Capital. Since then the building has undergone a lifetime of another 30 years and hence was being demolished to make way for the new multi-storey building of the Income Tax headquarters.”
“However, unfortunately it seems that something went wrong during the demolition operation because of negligence or lack of supervision which led to the collapse. A lot of careful calculations and control have to be exercised during undertaking of demolition work which may have gone wrong in this case,” he added.
According to the police, a case of causing injury due to negligence has been registered against the contractor. Investigations would be carried out to ascertain whether proper scientific methodology was followed by the contractor while demolishing the structure.