In the end it was the local residents who came to the rescue of not only those injured and trapped in the collapsed 4-storey building in Laxmi Nagar but also various rescue operation teams.
The locals rushed as soon as the news of the building collapse spread and helped clear the debris. They also supplied various rescue teams with essential items including torches.
Residents poured in to help carry the injured as fire department officials were not able to manage to reach the congested area.
Locals said the fire services did not have gas cutters and other equipment with them and that delayed rescue operations.
At the time of going to the press, 32 people were reported dead and more than 100 were injured in one of the worst building collapse incidents in recent times in the capital. The incident happened in Lalita Park area in Laxmi Nagar in east Delhi.
Local residents said more than 250 people lived in the building, which also housed an illegal embroidery and garment-manufacturing unit.
The building had 40 rooms over the factories. Most of the residents were labourers who worked in the unit.
Locals also said that the building was very old and another floor was being added to it.
More than 150 rescue operation workers from different government agencies like the Delhi Fire Services, Delhi Disaster Management Authority and Delhi police were rushed to the area.
The injured were taken to Lal Bahadur Shashtri Hospital, which is nearest to the area.
Of the 21 people initially sent to the hospital, five were in critical condition, the police said.