“I could not understand what happened. The upper story simply started crumbling down,” said Satya Dev, a labourer working at the site of the under-construction three-floored building in Faridabad that collapsed on Wednesday evening.
Faridabad police have ordered an inquiry into the collapse of the departmental store in the bustling industrial township, that left six people dead on Wednesday afternoon.
"I have ordered an enquiry into today's happening," said Praveen Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Faridabad.
Eyewitnesses said the building was 19 years old and repair work was going on at the top floor when it caved in.
"There were heavy machines installed there. The dilapidated top floor may have failed to bear the load, leading to the collapse," said Dev.
Some staff members, customers and labourers were inside the store when it crumbled, eyewitnesses said.
"I saw Sunil (another labourer) half buried in the debris and have no information about the other labourers," Dev said. The incident occurred when expansion work was in full swing inside a store, eyewitnesses said.
"I was outside my shop when I suddenly saw signboards of the departmental store crumbling. I could hear the sound of a generator when the whole building crumbled within seconds," said Chander Bharadwaj, an eyewitness, who works in a nearby shop.
Bharadwaj said he was surprised how a big generator had been taken to the top of the building without anybody in the vicinity knowing about it.
Shopkeepers closed their shutters and rushed to safety. Traffic came to a stand still and a huge contingent of police force was rushed to the site. Dozens of private cranes and ambulances also reached the spot.
A corporator of Municipal Corporation of Faridabad, Pratap Singh Chawla, also blamed the expansion work in the building for the collapse.
“The expansion work caused this tragedy,” said Chawla, holding MCF officials responsible for allowing violation of construction rule.