At least 25 child labourers from the same village in Bihar were feared dead in the worst-ever building collapse in east Delhi's Lalita Park area on Monday night.
These children were employed at the illegal handicraft unit being run from the building’s fifth floor because of their small and nimble hands that is required for precision embroidery.
The police did not rule out taking action against the owner of this illegal unit.
Aged between 10-16 years, these children were brought to the city four months back from a village in Katihar district in northeast Bihar.
The unit was being run from a small room on the fifth floor of the dilapidated building.
"My cousin had been working at this unit for the past four months. I don't know how much he was paid but he was living there with 20-25 other children of his age. They were working for a person called Arif. He also used to stay there," said Waseem (12).
His cousin Intezar (16) was declared brought dead at Lok Nayak Hospital on Monday night.
Waseem had come with his other relatives to search for Intezar at all the hospitals where the injured and the dead were being taken. They finally found his body at Lok Nayak Hospital.
However, the bodies of most child labourers were yet to be identified or recovered. One of them is admitted with critical injuries in the emergency ward at Lok Nayak.
"There is no one to identify these children. We do not know their names. We can get a confirmation only if their parents show up," said Rasool Islam, a local who was helping people identify dead bodies at the mortuary.
The police said they had no information about the handicraft unit and would take action if someone lodges a complaint.
"There were many children who have died in the building collapse. But is it is difficult to identify these child labourers from the other children who were living with their families in the building," said IB Rani, additional deputy commissioner of police (east).
Police said most of the children are missing in the records. The bodies of 10 children, who were yet to be identified, have been kept at the Lok Nayak Hospital.
Police said there was no account of the number of people living in the building.