3 die as building under construction crumbles
Bengaluru: Oct 6, 2016, DHNS: Three people were killed and at least seven sustained injuries after an apartment under construction collapsed in Bellandur on Wednesday noon.
The police identified one of the deceased as Ashok Mahanta (27), a native of Assam, who was employed as a security guard in an adjacent apartment. The identity of two other victims is yet to be established. Eyewitnesses said three workers escaped with minor injuries as they were swept out of the structure when it swayed before crashing.
A few others, including an eight-year-old boy, managed to rush to safety through the main entrance. All of them were treated as outpatients at a hospital.
The entrance arch of an adjacent apartment, a security shed and two four-wheelers were destroyed in the accident, the police said.
The 47-flat apartment is owned by five people, two of whom have been identified as Vijay Kumar Doggalu and Srinivas Reddy. However, none of the owners or contractors visited the site.
Two illegal floors
According to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials, the builder had approval to construct only the ground and two floors.
However, at least two extra floors were constructed illegally, they added. But local residents said it was a six-storey apartment meant for paying guests.
Bengaluru Police Commissioner N S Megharikh said a first information report under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) has been registered against the building contractors and owners.
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad, who visited the spot along with Mayor G Padmavathi, said he suspected the involvement of Palike officers in aiding the owners raise extra floors illegally.
“We have suspended two officers (assistant engineer and assistant executive engineer) of Mahadevapura zone,” he told reporters.
Bengaluru Development Minister K J George announced Rs 5 lakh each to the family of the deceased. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike will bear the medical expenses of the injured.
Several personnel from the Fire and Emergency Services, State and National Disaster Rescue Force managed to save two people. Rescue operations will go on through Wednesday night and Thursday, as more people are feared trapped under debris.
Director General of Fire and Emergency Services, M N Reddi, said the apartment did not have approval from the fire department.