Elderly couple killed in wall collapse
A 60-year-old daily wage worker and his wife were killed on Thursday night when a portion of a wall in their house at Rajanukunte collapsed on them while they were sleeping.
The deceased Siddappa and his 50-year-old wife Sanjeevamma were natives of Obalapura in Madhugiri taluk, Tumkur district. The couple had come to Rajanukunte to work with their son Ashoka in a nearby vineyard. The couple had rented a small, dilapidated house believed to have been built about 70 years ago.
According to police, the wall collapse was brought upon by heavy rain. The cave-in was discovered by neighbours when they went to call the couple for work the following morning.
Rajanukunte police rushed to the spot to help with rescue operation and evacuated many residents of neighbouring houses that had also weakened by rain. While the house beside the collapsed building was relatively new – having been built under the Indira Awaas Yojana Scheme – many of the houses along the street are more than 50 years old, as the families had not availed of the scheme.
One of the evacuated neighbours told Deccan Herald that people in the neighbourhood were aware of the fragile nature of their houses, but are in no position to do anything about it.
“Most houses in the area have become weak and old, and we do not have the finances to demolish our houses and build new ones, as most of those residing here are daily wage labourers,” he said. He urged the government to take up measures to ensure that such an incident does not recur in the future.
Police have provided many of the evacuees with temporary accommodation in the police station. The local tahsildar and other officials visited the spot and took stock of the situation. The bodies of the deceased have been sent for a postmortem at a government hospital in Dodaballapur.
In another incident, a 43-year-old homemaker in Rajarajeshwarinagar was killed after a portion of a wall came crashing down on her while she was asleep on Friday morning.
The victim has been identified as Saraswathi N, a resident of Bangarappa Nagar.
According to police, Saraswathi, her husband Neele Gowda, sons Yogesh and Manjunath had settled in Bangalore some 20 years ago. Yogesh and Manjunath are auto drivers. Neele Gowda is an assistant in a telecom office, police said.
The entire family lives in a rented house, a congested structure built 20 years ago. The walls of the house, which were constructed using mud, had become weak due to heavy rain over the last few days, police said.
Yogesh, Manjunath and Neele Gowda had all left the house by 7 am, leaving Saraswathi and her daughter-in-law Susheela at home when the collapse occurred.