A 45-year-old woman was killed and her daughter injured when a four-storey rickety building collapsed in north Delhi’s Azad Market on Friday evening.
The incident occurred at 4pm in Gali Milwali. Jingla and daughter Komal (20) were in their third-floor flat when the building, said to be over 100 years old, collapsed.
Both were recovered from under the debris in a critical condition and rushed to a nearby hospital where Jingla was declared brought dead. Komal is undergoing treatment, police said.
Neighbours said that the building was very old and had not been renovated or painted for a long time. Locals said most occupants had gone to their hometowns to celebrate Chhath.
Locals said the ground floor was a godown and nobody lived on the first floor. A family living on the second floor had gone to Bihar. The victims were on the third floor. Those on the fourth floor were not present in their house.
“Jingla and Komal were alone in their flat. Jingla’s son Paras was at work. Jingla’s husband had died few years ago,” said 30-year-old Ashish Chandelia, a local.
“The building was more than 100 years old. Most occupants were not present at the time of the incident. Some had gone to their hometowns for Chhath. No one is trapped in the debris,” said DCP (north) Madhur Verma.
Locals said they heard a loud noise around 4pm. “The building next to ours had collapsed and debris was lying everywhere. The whole area was in dust for a few minutes. When it cleared, we saw nothing was left of the building except the ground floor. That too was slowly collapsing. Police and fire officials arrived in 15 minutes,” said Ashish.
Komal was rescued first. Jingla was taken out next.
Amid the rescue operation, relatives of the family living on the fourth floor arrived and pointed out that Anuj (15), a class 11 student, could be trapped inside the debris. His father was away in office and mother had gone to her home town for Chhath.
When after nearly three hours Anuj wasn’t rescued, his aunt Kiran Devi panicked and began assisting in the rescue operation. She helped locals in clearing the debris on the ground . This continued for a few minutes before Anuj arrived with a bag on his shoulder, looking bewildered at the chaos.
“I had gone to my coaching class and forgot to inform my father and relatives. As usually I stay at home, my family thought I was trapped inside the debris,” said Anuj.