Two people were killed, while eight others, including some children, injured when a five-storey building collapsed in West Delhi’s Vishnu Garden area on Saturday evening. Police said nine people, including four children, have been pulled out from the rubble. But many more are feared trapped in the debris. Rescue operations were on past midnight. Eight fire tenders were at the spot and teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were carrying out rescue operations.
Officials said an addition was made recently to the fifth floor by the owner of the building, and it could be one of the reasons for the collapse. It was not clear whether the owner had taken permission from civic authorities for the construction.
The building caved in around 9 pm and part of it toppled on an adjacent single-storey building.
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According to fire officials, they received a call shortly after 9 pm from a resident of Vishnu Garden about a building collapse in their locality.
Eight fire tenders were dispatched to the spot. Narrow lanes in the congested locality restricted the movement of fire engines.
“We got a call about the incident at 9 pm and after receiving the call, local police along with the fire tenders, and CATS ambulances rushed to the spot to conduct rescue and relief operation. The building was over 10 years old and we are told five families lived there,” a senior officer of Fire department said.
Police and officials from the district administration have reached the site and are supervising rescue operations. “The building in Vishnu Garden collapsed and we are conducting a rescue operation. Many are feared to be trapped in the debris,” DCP (West district) Pushpendra Kumar said.
Rescue workers were removing the debris to locate survivors. A large crowd, which had gathered there, also joined the rescue effort.
Officials from Delhi Police, Delhi Fire Service, Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) and NDRF were pressed into rescue and relief operations soon after the collapse. Fearing that nearby buildings may get affected, police evacuated people living in them. Media persons, who had occupied the rooftops of nearby buildings, were also told to move away.
Those pulled out of the debris were rushed to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya hospital and private hospitals. Two persons were declared brought dead. “The lanes are very narrow, hence it will take extra time to take the JCB to the spot,” an official said.