Three-storey building tilts and falls, worker killed

Three-storey building tilts and falls, worker killed

The building that tilted and collapsed on an adjacent structure in Thyagarajanagar on Saturday. DH PHOTOS/SATISH BADIGER

A three-storey building in southern Bengaluru, being constructed with substandard material, collapsed on Saturday, killing a welder and injuring at least three others. 

The building at 1st Cross, Thyagarajanagar, tilted and fell on the neighbouring structure as supporting pillars on the ground floor gave away around 4.30 pm, the authorities said. 

At least four people were working on the first floor when the building started to fall. Pillars were the first to give away, throwing the entire building off balance and crushing the lowest floor. Three of them managed to escape with minor injuries, but Suhail, 29, a welder from Shivamogga who was working a window, got trapped. His body was retrieved only after two hours of heavy drilling through concrete. 

The death toll was fortunately low as many workers hadn’t turned up because it was a holiday and some who showed up had gone out for tea, Chief Fire Officer Ravishankar said. Three people who sustained minor injuries were given first aid at a hospital and sent home. 

Five fire tenders and three rescue teams were pressed into the search operation. Sniffer dogs, too, were at work. The neighbouring structure was evacuated until the ill-fated building was fully cleared. 

Firefighters and BBMP officials, who inspected the building, agreed that substandard construction had led to the collapse. 

The jurisdictional Banashankari police have booked Kumar, the builder, for criminal negligence. Further investigations are ongoing. 

But Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun, who visited the spot in the evening, put the blame on something else. She quoted BBMP civil engineers as saying that an earthmover digging the foundation on an adjacent plot had touched a column of the ill-fated structure, leading to its collapse. She said the BBMP would file a criminal case to make the owner of the adjacent plot pay for the damage. 

Local corporator B S Sathyanarayana said BBMP, Bescom and police officers besides firefighters were working on a war footing to clear the rubble.

BBMP south zone joint commissioner, Dr Vishwanath, said they would ensure no debris came in the way of pedestrians and motorists.