Salman, 45, and Shehnaz Khatri, 43, were packing their belongings as they were going to shift from the rickety Rahim Manzil to Salman’s brother’s house in the building across the street.
On Wednesday, the walls on the first floor of Rahim Manzil developed cracks and through the evening there was a steady drizzle of mud and sand from the ceiling.
“Salman called up the four workers who used to sleep in his marble shop on the ground floor, asking them to sleep in another shop two buildings away,” said Farooq Khatri, his uncle.
Salman was among those killed as Rahim Manzil collapsed on Thursday, while Shehnaz suffered facial injuries and fractures to her left hand. Her family kept news of Salman’s death from Shehnaz till late in the afternoon.
They were married for about 15 years, but had no children.
Ahmed Hasan, a resident of a nearby building, said: “As it was Badi Raat, we were awake. We saw the building collapse and ran there to rescue the victims. We set up halogen lights and started the rescue.”
Locals say that when the building collapsed, they saw a torchlight on the fourth floor.
On reaching there, they found the terrified couple.
“But before anything could be done, the floor gave away and the debris engulfed them,” said Nimaz Rashid, a resident of the area.