5 dead, 13 injured in house collapse
Five people, including a woman, were killed and 13 others injured when a five-storey newly-constructed building collapsed in Ahmedabad on Friday morning, leading to the partial collapse of two adjoining buildings as well, officials said.
While six people have been admitted for treatment of fractures, seven others are being treated in the outpatient department.
The building, called 'President', was apparently constructed illegally in Kalupur area of the densely-populated old walled city. Early Friday, it tilted to one side, crushing two adjoining old residential buildings and affecting two others as well.
"Fire brigade personnel extricated five bodies from the debris and rescued over a dozen people. A fire brigade volunteer was among the injured who have been admitted to the V.S. Municipal Hospital," Additional Chief Fire Officer Rajesh Bhatt said.
Many people were sleeping around 7.30 a.m. when the collapse took place. "The building had apparently been constructed on an old one and was a matchbox-type structure that tilted due to a faulty foundation," witnesses who live in the area said.
A civic official said: "Lots of illegal constructions take place in these bylanes in the guise of repairs which is very difficult to monitor."
Fire brigade personnel who rushed to the area had a tough time working in the extremely narrow and serpentine lanes of the densely congested old walled city.
"There was no way that one could take fire tenders and other equipment inside these lanes," said the fire officer.
Municipal Commissioner I.P. Gautam has ordered an enquiry to be conducted by the chief engineer of the civic body. "The builder will be made liable. He will have to pay compensation to those whose houses have been affected," he said.