Ten people including five children and three women were killed while two others injured when a 50-year-old dilapidated four-storeyed building Saturday collapsed in a congested area in north Delhi, police said.
Two injured persons, who were rescued from under the debris are recuperating in the hospital, police said. “Ten people including five children and three women have been killed in the building collapse while two persons have been injured. Rescue operations are still on and debris is being removed,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Madhur Verma.
An assistant junior engineer and a junior engineer of NDMC’s Karol Bagh zone have been suspended, NDMC PRO Yogendra Singh Mann said, adding that an inquiry has been ordered into the incident in Inderlok area.
“The Commissioner has ordered an inquiry into the incident under Additional Commissioner (Engineering) of the corporation and errant civic officials in this connection will not be spared, if found guilty of any irregularity,” he said.
NDMC officials suspect construction work at an adjacent building may be one of the reasons behind the building collapse.
“A notice was also sent to the neighbouring plot to stop construction earlier, but by continuing to dig, they have violated the order and hence due action will be taken against that party, if found guilty post the municipal inquiry,” Mann said.
According to fire officials, they got a call around 9 AM about a building collapsing at Tulsi Nagar in Inderlok following which four fire tenders were rushed to the spot for the rescue operations.
“We got a call about the incident at 8:55 AM. The building was around 50 years old and a number of families lived there,” said Verma. He said it was an “unauthorised” building and investigations were underway in this regard.
North Delhi Mayor Yogender Chandolia said, “I believe such incidents are taking place also due to unauthorised constructions.”
The incident took place in a congested locality and seems to have been caused by construction work on an adjacent plot, a fire official said.
Officials from Delhi Police, Delhi Fire Service, Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) and NDMC were pressed into rescue and relief operations soon after the collapse.
Those pulled out of the debris were rushed to Bara Hindu Rao hospital and Acharya Bhikshu Hospital.
The narrow bylanes of the area hampered the movement of fire tenders and cranes to the spot. In its pre-monsoon survey for the first four months of the year, the NDMC had found 140 buildings in north Delhi as dangerous.
A total of 144 buildings were identified as dangerous for the period, with Sadar Paharganj zone alone accounting for 137 such structures, according to the survey report recently released by the NDMC.
While one building in Karol Bagh Zone and four in the City Zone were identified as dangerous, two structures were flagged in Rohini Zone where partial demolition has taken place, it said.
The court also expressed its concern over rise in crimes in outer Delhi areas.