Four children, woman killed in building collapse in northwest Delhi

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NEW DELHI, Sept 26 (PTI): A four-storey “weak” building collapsed in northwest Delhi Wednesday killing four children and a woman, three weeks after the 20 year old structure was inspected by a municipal team following complaints. Police have registered a case under section 304 of the IPC, which amounts to culpable homicide not amounting to murder, punishable with a maximum term of 10 years, against the owner Dharmender, who had rented out the 20 year old building in Ashok Vihar. A complaint was lodged about the building being dangerous on August 16, 2017 and a team of MCD had inspected the building around 20 days ago, the police said. Two teams of the NDRF were mobilised for rescue operations, a NDRF spokesperson said. The ground floor of the building housed a shop while the second and third floors were occupied by tenants. One floor was vacant. There were 12 people inside the building when the incident took place. The injured were immediately rushed to Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital where a woman’s condition is stated to be critical. A family lived on the second floor of the building. Two of the children, who were killed in the incident were siblings, Ashi, aged three and Shaurya, aged two. The deceased woman, Munni, was living in one of the houses on the third floor. The second family living on that floor lost two children, Rajnesh, aged four and Sumnesh, aged 12, the police said. The fourth floor was occupied by a couple — Narottam and Nisha. Nisha is critical, the police said. Bimlesh, who was present at the hospital and whose sons were Rajnesh and Sumnesh, said, “As soon as I left home and had barely walked a few metres, I heard a loud noise and when I turned back, I saw the building collapse like a pack of cards. I am waiting to hear about the condition of my family members.” Locals claimed that along with the building, a sheesham tree, adjacent to the building, also collapsed. A call about the incident was received at 9.25 am and six fire tenders were rushed to the spot near Sawan Park, an officer said. A senior North Delhi Municipal Corporation official said the building was about 20 years old. Its structure was weak and in a deteriorated condition, the official added. Kejriwal ordered a magisterial probe into the building collapse that claimed the lives of four children and a woman in north west Delhi’s Ashok Vihar area Wednesday. Kejriwal visited Deepchand Bandhu Hospital to the meet the victims and said the AAP government will give compensation to the next of kin of the deceased and the seven injured persons. “I have ordered magisterial probe in the matter. The Delhi government will also give compensation to the kin of deceased and injured,” he told reporters here. The chief minister also hit out at BJP-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation over the incident and said it will have to keep its system in order. “Municipal corporation has the responsibility of safety of buildings…they will have to keep their system in order…they (MCDs) will have to strictly enforce their law,” he also said.

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