Five persons of a family — two women and three minors — died after a house collapsed in Rahat Enclave Colony of Loni town in Ghaziabad. Five other members of the family, including the house owner and his children, were also injured and rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
The police said the two-storeyed house belonged to Imran, a fruit seller in Loni. The incident took place around 12.15am on Tuesday by which time Imran had retired to bed with his four sons and wife Tabassum alias Reshma, 35.
Her sister Hasina, 28, had also arrived from Panipat along with her three children — Shama, 8, Asiya, 5 and Danish, 6 — to spend the holidays at their aunt’s house.
“House owner’s wife, her sister and the sister’s three children were buried under the debris and died,” said Srikant Prajapati, circle officer (Loni).
As soon as the house collapsed, neighbours rushed to help and also called Imran’s brother Shahid who lives nearby.
“When I reached the spot, I found them all buried under the debris and crying for help. Neighbours had called the police and everyone was trying to pull out the bricks. After nearly half an hour, we managed to rush all 10 to the hospital. But, my sister-in-law, her sister and her three children were declared brought dead,” Shahid said.
The rescue work and removal of debris from the site took nearly two hours amid the presence of police and administrative officials.
The situation was such that we could not assess whether they had died on the spot or not. We put them in vehicles and rushed them to the hospital. My brother was semi-conscious then and he told us that a total of 10 persons were in the house. He and his three sons sustained minor injuries. But, his fourth son was admitted to GTB Hospital in Delhi as he sustained severe injuries on the chest,” Shahid said.
He said Imran’s house was constructed 2-3 years ago and there was no adjoining houses on either side which could have provided support to the collapsed house. The officials said the colony was outside the jurisdiction of Loni Nagar Palika and had no drainage system. The colony is estimated to have a population of nearly 15,000-20,000.
“As water had collected near the house, it probably weakened the foundation of the house, which was constructed without a pillar support. The walls had already developed cracks. The house collapsed while its occupants were asleep,” said Prem Ranjan Singh, sub-divisional magistrate, Loni.
“We are trying to financially help the family and also give them relief under ‘Parivarik Labh Yojna’, which can provide ₹30,000 to the family. However, the other woman will not get benefits as she hails from outside UP. We have another state government scheme in which amount up to ₹5 lakh can be given. Since the model code of conduct is in place, we have to seek permission from the Election Commission,” the SDM said.