Nithari building collapse: Contractor, son arrested; owner on the run
A 59-year-old contractor and his 26-year-old son were arrested Tuesday evening in connection with the collapse of the canopy of a building undergoing demolition in Nithari village on Monday, which resulted in the death of a 10-year-old boy.
Luv Subba, a native of Darjeeling, had died in the incident which also led to three children getting hurt, including two girls who had been admitted to the Noida Medical Centre. According to officials, the three-storey building, known among locals as 90 quarters, was being demolished in order to build a new one. During demolition, a part of the second storey had fallen onto the first floor canopy, which collapsed onto the street below, trapping passersby under the rubble, around 4pm. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had been roped in and rescue operation was carried out till 10pm.
A case was registered at the Sector 20 police station based on the complaint given by Subba’s aunt against the owner of the house, Vijendra Awana, the contractor and his son, who was also working at the site, under sections 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repairing buildings)and 304A (culpable homicide) of the IPC.
“The Ghaziabad-based contractor, Moinuddin, and his son Sonu were arrested from near the Nithari T-junction Tuesday evening around 4pm. The owner is, however, on the run and we are on the lookout for him. His house is locked but we are hopeful of nabbing him soon,” Manoj Kumar Pant, station house officer, Sector 20 police station, said.
According to locals, the street where the incident took place is one of the busiest ones in the area. Police said the debris from the accident has now been cleared. They said the body of the deceased minor was handed over to his family post autopsy. His family may go back to Darjeeling for last rites, the police added.
While one of the injured, Shakeel (12), was discharged on Monday after receiving first aid, the girls, Barkha Sharma and Sonali Yadav are still recuperating.
“They both have multiple fractures. Sonali will undergo surgery tomorrow while Barkha has a fractured hip bone, for which she will be taken to a private hospital in Delhi. She also has a few internal injuries, but they are both responsive now. We have been assured that their treatment here will be free of cost,” Ajay Sharma, Barkha’s father, who works as a tailor in Nithari village, said.
The cost for the treatment of the girls is being borne by the health department.
“Sonali’s blood group is O-negative, which is a rare blood type. We arranged four units of the blood type today and are making efforts to take care of the treatment of both the girls. Her hemoglobin level is low at the moment, which makes her critical. However, once the surgeries are done, both the girls will be fine,” Dr Anurag Bhargava, chief medical officer, said.
The district administration said that no compensation will be given to the victims. “Compensation is generally given in cases on natural calamities such as floods or earthquakes. This is a different case as demolition work was going on. Hence, the administration will not be giving any compensation,” Anjani Kumar, sub-divisional magistrate, said.