March 24, 2023

9-year-old among 4 dead in Delhi building collapse | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Four people were killed, including a nine-year-old girl, after a three-storey building collapsed in outer Delhi’s Bawana on Friday afternoon. Two women survived the disaster. Police said the deceased were not residents of the building, but were in the area when the building crashed.
The four dead were identified as Rukaiya Khatun (55), Afrina (9), Shahzad (25) and Danish (24). The building, part of Rajiv Ratan Awas Scheme, was empty at the time of the incident according to the cops. The victims were grazing cattle close to the building when the structure crashed down.
Police received news at 2.45pm that a building had fallen and trapped 3-5 people under the debris. “The building was part of Rajiv Ratan Awas Scheme, under which over 300 flats had been constructed. The fire service and Delhi Disaster Management Authority were also alerted. Three JCB cranes and one hydra machine arrived along with two ambulances,” said a police officer. “After a struggle of over four hours, six individuals were pulled out from the debris and rushed to hospital.”
Brijendra Kumar Yadav, DCP (Outer North), said four of the six people rescued succumbed in hospital. “The two who survived are Fatima (21) and Shahnaz (28). A case has been registered at Narela Industrial Area police station,” said Yadav.
A police officer said, “Prima facie, it appears the building’s dilapidated condition led to the collapse. The actual cause is being ascertained. The four bodies have been shifted to a mortuary for an autopsy.” Police reiterated that the initial investigation had determined the victims were in the area to graze cattle.
Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Limited (DSIIDC), which constructed the flats for Delhi government, has constituted an inquiry panel under its engineer-in-chief to investigate the reason for the building collapsing. The committee has been asked to submit its report in a week.
In a statement, the state government later said, “Delhi government is closely monitoring the situation. It has been brought to light that the building was constructed in 2007-2010.” According to government sources, DSIIDC constructed 3,680 flats, which were to be allotted to the economically weaker section under Rajiv Ratan Awas Yojana. With no allocations done, many people were illegally living in some flats. Rampant theft of iron grilles, sewage and water pipes and iron rods for construction had left these structures weakened, government officials claimed. The private guards deployed by DSIIDC had failed to check the regular thefts.
An official said, “Our first priority is to carry out the rescue operation and save lives. Our teams of engineers, including the engineer-in-chief and chief engineer, are at the spot. We have set up an inquiry that will look into all aspects and recommend action to be taken. We will also set up a separate team to inspect the strength of the structures and suggest repairs to be carried out. We will also ask the state government to formulate a policy to start allotting these flats to the needy so that the buildings are maintained regularly.”

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