A day after three people were killed when a three-storey building located in the “compound” of the warehouse of a courier company collapsed in Gurgaon’s Khawaspur village, an FIR has been registered against the warehouse owner and company manager.
Employees of the courier firm, Cargo Deluxe Company, lived in the building. One of them sustained injuries in the incident as well. Police said the owner and manager allegedly took no action despite repeated warnings from employees that the structure was “very dilapidated” and could “fall anytime”.
Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg has directed the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Pataudi to probe the matter.
According to police, the FIR has been registered based on a complaint by Vijay Kumar, who hails from Bhiwani and is in the “executive post” at the organisation. In his complaint, he stated that he has been employed with the company for four years but had been posted at the Khawaspur site for the past month.
“A three-storey building was built in the compound of the warehouse, in which around 20-22 men were staying. The condition of the building was poor, regarding which we had told the manager Krishan Kaushik and warehouse owner Ravinder Ktariya, who is a resident of Gurgaon, that this building is very dilapidated and can fall anytime, so shift us to another building,” alleges the complainant.
He alleged that the manager and owner, however, only kept giving the employees reassurance that “the building is fine and nothing will happen”.
On Sunday evening, around 7 pm, the complainant stated that he and a friend were sleeping when they heard loud noises and ran outside. The building collapsed just as they got out.
“We have lodged an FIR regarding the matter under IPC sections 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repairing buildings), 304 (death by negligence), and 34 (common intention) against the owner of the warehouse and the manager of Deluxe Cargo India Private Limited. The warehouse basically served as a storage point for goods ordered online that had to be delivered to different places,” said Gurgaon Police PRO Subhash Boken.
Relief and rescue operations, meanwhile, were called off on Monday afternoon. Officials said three bodies were retrieved, identified as Robin from Uttar Pradesh, and Pradeep Sharma and Rahul, alias Tiny Bhardwaj, who were from Bhiwani. One person, Pradeep Choudhary from Uttar Pradesh, was pulled out of the rubble alive.
While Robin was a labourer, the other three were deployed in the “executive post”, said officials. The deceased were aged between 28 and 35.
“We have rescued one person from the rubble, and bodies of three others have been retrieved. An FIR has been lodged in the case and we are conducting investigations. No arrests have been made yet. The rubble has been cleared. As per our records, no other person is buried under the debris,” said Varun Singla, DCP (Manesar).
According to police, they received information regarding the incident at 7.10 pm on Sunday. Although initially it was believed that “20 to 25 people” were buried under the rubble, the guard at the spot clarified that “four to five people” were inside the structure when it collapsed. Teams of the NDRF, SDRF, Gurgaon Police, fire department, civil defence, and health department had worked through the intervening night of Sunday and Monday to carry out the rescue operation.
“Relief and rescue operations continued through the night despite heavy rainfall. The Deputy Commissioner has also already directed the Pataudi SDM to conduct a probe into the case of this accident,” said a spokesperson of the district administration.