A 17-year-old boy died and three men were injured after a shop they were working in collapsed in Outer North Delhi’s Narela Saturday, said police.
The incident took place around 10 am at the metal welding shop where cousins Mohd Mehraj (28), Mohd Jubair (22) and Mohd Irshad (21) were working. Their relative, Mohd Sallauddin (17), who was in Delhi for a holiday from Bihar’s Darbhanga, was also at the shop when it collapsed.
DCP (Outer North) Gaurav Sharma said a PCR call was received from Maharaja Agrasen hospital in Narela at 11.30 am that three injured have been admitted there. Sallauddin was declared dead on arrival.
The shop is located in Narela’s Swatantra Nagar. Sharma said “the shop’s roof, made of iron bars and silt sheets, collapsed due to negligent repair work done near its foundation for construction of a drain by a contractor of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department”.
A case under IPC sections 337 (causing hurt by endangering life) and 304A (death by negligence) has been registered against the contractor but no arrest has been made so far. A police officer said, “We are looking into the role of the shop owner too.”
Police said work at the drain started 30-45 days ago.
Devender Das (36), a labourer and an eyewitness, said he was sitting across the shop when he saw the walls crash. “There was a loud noise and dust everywhere. We heard someone screaming for help and around 15 people rushed to their rescue,” he said.
Vasu (45), who lives nearby, claimed it took them around 20 minutes to pull everyone out. “There was debris everywhere. One of the four men seemed lifeless, he was badly injured on the head, bleeding profusely. I know the men who work at this shop, we spoke often,” he said.
A family member said the three cousins had been working at the shop for a few months. The victim’s relative, Mohammed Jeelani (42), said, “Sallauddin had given his class X exams last year and was on a break from studies. On Saturday, he visited his three cousins for the first time in months. They were catching up over tea when the incident took place. Sallauddin had come with gifts for everyone.”
The family demanded action against the contractor of the drain. “Due to the shoddy work done by him and the department, the walls of the shop were impacted,” alleged Jeelani.
Sallauddin is survived by his parents and seven siblings, who live in a village in Darbhanga. “His parents are heartbroken. His cousins will take the body to Darbhanga Sunday,” said a relative.
The owner of the shop, Mahipal, was at home nearby when the walls came crashing. “I rushed to help those stuck inside. I lost my shop, but someone died there. It’s distressing,” he said.