Ten people, including five children and two women, were killed and two others injured after a four-storey building collapsed on Saturday morning at Inderlok in north Delhi.
The incident occurred at around 8:30am in a congested Inderlok neighbourhood, claiming the lives of five children belonging to two families -- all aged between 14 and five -- and their mothers. The three other deceased were cousins, all in their twenties.
The two people injured, who were rescued from under the debris, have been admitted at Bara Hindu Rao hospital.
Two officials of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s Karol Bagh zone have been suspended and a probe has been ordered.
The police indicated that illegal construction at the adjacent plot contributed to the building collapse. “We have registered a case of death-by-negligence against the owner-cum-builder of the adjacent plot where illegal construction work was on. Efforts are on to nab the prime accused, who is absconding,” said Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner of police (north).
Owners and builders of the neighbouring plot violated orders to stop construction and continued to dig, said civic body spokesperson YS Mann.”Hence action will be taken against that party if found guilty after municipal inquiry,” Mann said.
Delhi has seen several such tragedies in the past but little has been done in terms of regulations or precautions. On November 15, 2010, 67 people were killed and 73 injured after a five-storey building collapsed at Lalita Park in east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar. Two floors of the building were constructed illegally.
“Major parts of the city are unauthorised with haphazard construction that doesn’t follow bylaws. This leads to huge risks,” a senior civic body official said.