Thirteen people died and around 15 people were injured on Monday morning, when a two-storeyed hotel in Secunderabad collapsed. Most of them had just walked in for their morning tea at a cafeteria in City-Light hotel. Several more might still be trapped under the debris, the police said.
Most of the deceased are hotel employees. The injured have been admitted in the nearby Gandhi Hospital. The building was decades old and the setting up of heavy boilers in the kitchen to prepare Haleem — a popular delicacy during Ramzan — might have added to the pressure on the structure, leading to the collapse.
Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy visited the site and later, the victims in the hospital. A probe has been ordered into the mishap.
Later in the day, the opposition parties launched an attack on the government for inaction on such structures in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. There are 57 dilapidated structures in Secunderabad and only 15 of them have been razed.
Krishna Babu, Greater Hyderabad municipal commissioner, insisted that the City-Light hotel was not in the dilapidated category. It is understood that the hotel owner had made some cosmetic repairs to pass the building off as new. A case of negligence has been registered against him.
“Regardless of the notices issued, several old, unworthy buildings are still in use. We would ensure that such structures are razed,” said labour minister Danam Nagendar.