A three-year-old child survived the collapse of a two-storey building in the congested Ejipura area of south Bengaluru on Monday even as seven persons were killed and seven others injured.
The building, owned by a man identified as Gunesh Kumar, is suspected to have collapsed after the explosion of a gas cylinder on the first floor. Neighbours reported hearing a loud bang before the collapse at around 6.30 am.
Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, who visited the site, said the building had collapsed on its own and that there was no gas cylinder blast preceding the collapse. “It was a 15-20-year-old building, and it seems to have collapsed on its own,’’ he said.
Heavy rain in Bengaluru over the past month could have contributed to weakening of the building, some local residents said.
Among the last bodies to be found in the rubble were those of a pregnant woman, Ashwini, 30, and her husband Saravana, 32. They were found shortly after their three-year-old daughter Sanjana was rescued from the rubble by personnel from the disaster relief forces and state fire services. They found her after hearing her feeble cries.
The girl was found with injuries on her face. Fire personnel said she was in shock and rushed her to hospital.
Those who died in the collapse included Ravichandra, 46, Kalavathi, 68, Malashree, 25, Prasad, 18, and Pavan Kalyan, 19. Seven persons were rescued, including the three-year-old Sanjana and 12-year-old Priya.
The Karnataka government announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation for the dead and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
Bengaluru Development Minister K J George announced that the state would take care of the financial needs and education of the three-year-old girl.