By Kaunain Sheriff M
Ten people, including five children and three women, were killed and two others injured when a four-storeyed building collapsed in a congested locality in Tulsi Nagar area of Inderlok on Saturday.
The injured — Naeem and Abdul Rashid, who were pulled out of the debris — are out of danger, police said. An inquiry has been ordered and a case registered, police said.
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The building collapsed around 8.30 am. “We got a call at 8.55 am,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Madhur Verma said.
As construction work was going on in an adjacent vacant plot, authorities said it could have led to Saturday’s cave-in.
Police have identified the two contractors of the collapsed building. “We will book them for negligence and suitable action will be taken against them,” Verma said.
A case under Section 304 A (causing death by negligence) has also been registered againt the contractor overseeing construction on the adjacent plot. He is absconding, police said.
“The adjacent plot was lying vacant for two months after a building there was demolished. On June 26, fresh construction started there. All this could have weakened the foundation of the building that collapsed on Saturday,” Naseer, an eyewitness, said.
The ground floor of the collapsed building housed construction workers, but they were not inside when it caved in. The first floor served as a footwear godown.
Three of the dead — Mohammed Ijaz (24), Imtiaz (24) and Mohammed Usale (22) — lived on the second floor. They were from Darbhanga, Bihar. Ijaz was pursuing his MBA in Noida, Imtiaz worked at a Manesar factory and Usale had come to visit them.
“All three were cousins. Usale had just arrived in Delhi. Ijaz wanted to study further and land a good job,” Mohammed Nirale, Ijaz’s friend, said.
A family of four lived on the third floor. While Abdul Rashid (38) survived, his wife Shaheena (28) and children Abdul Aadib (7) and Sabba (5) were killed. “Rashid is recovering, but his wife and children were bought dead,” the chief medical officer at Bara Hindu Rao Hospital said.
The fourth floor was home to a family of five. While Naeem (39) survived, his wife Rubina (30) was bought dead to Bara Hindu Rao Hospital. His three children — Adiba (14), Aasif (10) and Rihana (7) — were alive when they were rescued but later succumbed to injuries at Acharya Bhikshu Hospital.
The cave-in damaged the balcony of an house located on the opposite side. The debris of the top floor fell on the balcony as the house came down in seconds.
They still don’t know their families are no more
Abdul Rashid and Naeem, the two survivors of Saturday’s house collapse, still don’t know that their families are no more.
While Rashid (38) survived, his wife Shaheena (28) and children Abdul Aadib (7) and Sabba (5) were killed. Similarly, Naeem (39) survived, but his wife Rubina (30) and children — Adiba (14), Aasif (10) and Rihana (7) — did not.
Unaware, they still enquire about their families.
Rashid recalls how the tragedy unfolded. “I was going outside the house to water the plants in the balcony and then I felt the ‘tremors’. Then I saw the front side of the house collapsing and even as I rushed inside, the building collapsed. I don’t know what happened next,” he said.
“Yesterday night, the children danced all night in a wedding procession. And now look what has happened,” his cousin Muzammil said.
At around 1.30 pm, the scene outside the collapsed building turned into chaos. The body of a 39-year-old man and a girl had been found under the debris. They were rushed to Bara Hindu Rao hospital. Later, the rescued were identified as Naeem and Rubina. Rubina was declared dead but Naeem was alive. “Why are they not informing me about my children. If god saved me, he will save them too,” he said.