Two members of a family, including a 65-year-old man, were killed and a third injured when a three-storey building collapsed in North Delhi’s Bara Hindu Rao area on Wednesday morning.
While the North Delhi Municipal Corporation Commissioner Praveen Gupta directed the area Chief Engineer to come up with an inquiry report within three days, area residents blamed the dilapidated condition of the old building for the mishap. Some locals said it was “at least 50 to 100 years old”.
The deceased have been identified as Mohammad Naqi and his son Nafis alias Bunty (35). Naqi’s younger son Salman (28) was injured and is reported to be out of danger. Naqi, who ran an imitation jewellery shop in Sadar Bazar, lived in the house with his sons and their families. His wife had died a few years ago.
Incidentally, the wives of both Bunty and Salman had gone to their parents’ house along with their children at the time of the accident. Naqi’s third son Bobby was also absent from the house as he had gone to Gurgaon, said neighbours.
According to the Delhi Fire Service, a call was made to them around 7-40 a.m. informing about the collapse of building number 7898 in Gali Shekhan and three people being trapped inside.
Police were later joined in their rescue efforts by the fire personnel and a team of the National Disaster Rescue Force that comprised 39 rescuers and two sniffer dogs. Other search and rescue equipment were also rushed to the spot from NDRF base in Ghaziabad. A 40-member-team was also sent by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
Mr. Ismail said gas cutters were used to cut through the debris and Bunty was rescued around 8-30 p.m. Two hours later Naqi was rescued. The three injured were then rushed to nearby Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, however, two of them were declared brought dead by the doctors.
The lane where the building stood is narrow due to which the falling debris damaged the shutters and gates of nearby houses. They also developed cracks, so their occupants evacuated the area and took shelter at their relatives’ houses.
The lack of space also hampered rescue operations as bigger machines such as excavators and cranes could not enter the area.
According to the police, a case has been registered under relevant provisions of the law but no one has been named in the FIR.
Delhi Minister Haroon Yusuf and BJP leader Vijay Goel also visited the spot but locals said these visits only hampered the rescue work.