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West Delhi collapse incident: Narrow lanes, lack of info posed challenges for rescuers

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Narrow lanes and lack of information posed challenges in carrying out rescue operation at the site of collapse of a two-storey building in west Delhi's Sudarshan Park, which claimed lives of seven persons, including a child.

A senior Delhi Fire Service official, said, fire tenders took time to reach the spot, as it had to negotiate narrow lanes and congestion in the area.

The incident took place around 8.48 pm on Thursday and many local residents helped police, fire and other authorities in the overnight rescue operation.

"Besides the narrow lanes, there were other challenges. A neighbouring building was not in a very good condition, so our team had to ensure, no equipment touched that structure," the official said.

The deceased were identified as Ramphal (45), Ajay (22), Munger (55), Hanshu (6), Ajay (25) and Rajesh (40) and Sanjay Pratap (18).

A survivor claimed that Hanshu was son of Rajesh.

Out of the eight injured, three men, identified as Munna, Gangesh and Ankit have been referred to the Safdarjung hospital while Manju has been referred to the Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Monika Bhardwaj.

The fire official said rescue operation was getting difficult as "we did not know the exact details about the material buried under the heaps of debris. So, no one was able to tell us, how many cylinders were lying buried in the rubble. So, we had to be very careful in sifting through the debris, looking for survivors".

The locals had claimed that factories running in the Basai Darapur area ar "illegal" and many complaints have already been submitted to the authorities.

"The collapse is said to have been triggered by a blast on the first floor of the building where a factory unit was operating, which blew the roof off. And, the side walls then collapsed under the weight of the debris deposited on the floor," a senior SDMC official said.

He said when the SDMC team visited the site in Basai Darapur area, they saw many parts of the building hanging precariously after the collapse, which were demolished for safety of passers-by.

One of the residents, claimed that a similar incident took place in the same locality around three years ago, but people did not learn any lesson from that incident.

The area falls under the jurisdiction of the West Zone of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and an SDMC team visited the site after the mishap and assisted the Delhi Disaster Management Authority staff in the rescue operation.

"Ironically, we had sent a closure notice to this unit on December 21, and sealing activity was slated to be carried out next week. So, this unit was effectively running illegally," the senior official said.

The SDMC has been carrying out sealing action against such units as per instructions of the Supreme Court, he said, adding, many units were either found closed or vacant after a notice to that effect had been served.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 04 2019. 22:26 IST