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Father, son killed in building crash

New Delhi, Oct 9, 2013, DHNS 3:59 IST
File Photo for representation only
A 65-year-old man and his elder son were killed, while his younger son was injured, when their 150-year-old three-storey house collapsed in north Delhi’s Bara Hindu Rao on Wednesday.

The victims have been identified as Mohammed Naki Quraishi and Mohammed Nafees, 37. Quraishi’s 27-year-old son Salman had a narrow escape.

Following the incident, North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) Commissioner Praveen Gupta ordered an inquiry by the additional commissioner in-charge and chief engineer of the zone to find the reason for the collapse. A report is expected in three days.

Locals blamed the dilapidated condition of the building for the mishap.

According to Delhi Fire Services, a distress call was received at around 7:30 am and six fire tenders were sent to the spot. The younger son, Salman, was rescued by locals even before officers of fire, police, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and NDMC could reach the spot. It is learnt that as soon as he felt the tremors, Salman, who was sleeping on the second floor, jumped out, saving himself from getting trapped in the rubble. He underwent treatment at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Initially, there was a strong apprehension that more persons were trapped in the debris. But Salman clarified that only his father and elder brother were in the house. Nafees’ body was retrieved around 9 am, and he was declared dead on the spot. Quraishi’s body was pulled out by noon. “The bodies were handed over to the family after post-mortem,” said a police officer.

The houses nearby developed cracks due to the incident, and their inhabitants have been evacuated. The NDMC is investigating the buildings to determine if they are safe or need to be demolished. Locals blamed Quraishi for the incident, saying he had illegally built two more floors when the house underwent renovation last year. “As the building was over 150 years old, we suspect the base had became unstable,” said a neighbour.

According to a neighbour, Quraishi lived with three sons, two daughters-in-law and two grandsons. Salman's wife and son recently went to Dubai to meet relatives, while Nafees’ wife and son had gone to her parents’ house. His 36-year-old son Hafeez is unmarried and owns a restaurant in Gurgaon. He was in Gurgaon when the incident took place.

“The death toll is surprisingly low as many of the family members were not at home,” said Mohammed Akram.

Following the incident, Delhi Power Minister Haroon Yusuf and BJP Delhi chief Vijay Goel visited the spot. The locals have been given an assurance that a probe would be instituted, and the guilty punished.

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