A two-storeyed building collapsed in east Delhi’s Tahirpur on Wednesday evening, killing a man and his daughter. A few others are suspected to be injured, trapped under the debris. The incident took place at 5pm.
According to officials, a drain was being built near the building by the Public Works Department (PWD), which may have weakened its foundation, leading to the collapse. At the time of the incident, three-four workers were inside the drain, cleaning it. Neighbours said that two days ago, one of the electricity poles had started tilting near the building.
A senior government official said, “Three persons were rushed to Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital around 6.30pm. Birpal, 40 and his daughter Sapna, 10, were declared dead on arrival, while his other daughter, aged 12, was discharged after administering first-aid.”
Rajkumari, who survived the crash, had been studying with her sister when the building came crashing down. “I pulled my sister towards me as we kept waiting for someone to rescue us. Sapna spoke to me for some time but later became silent. The doctors later told me she has died,” she said.
Her relatives have accused the authorities of delaying the rescue operations. One of her aunts said that the operations began only around 6.30pm, more than one-and-half hours after the collapse.
Till the time of going to press, the rescue operations were on. Officials from the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, Delhi government and National Disaster Response Force were pressed into action. Even dog squads were called in to help rescue people trapped inside. “We fear that more people may be trapped in the drain,” said an official.
“The house had been constructed before 2007. No construction was happening outside it, but the PWD had recently begun to restructure the old drains in the area. Silt was being removed from a drain near the house today and it seems the foundation of the building weakened and the building collapsed,” added the official.
As many people were feared to be trapped inside the debris, a life detection machine was also put in use. A case of negligence and other appropriate sections have been registered against unknown persons.