Two killed in house collapse

11-year-old critically injured, roof collapses while family watches TV

A 35-year-old woman and her two-year-old daughter were killed when a single-storey house collapsed in north Delhi’s Kashmere Gate on Tuesday.

Two other members of the family were also injured, police said. The house was located near Skinner House — listed as a heritage building by North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

According to police, Chandni Devi and her younger daughter Rooprani were declared brought dead at Sushruta Trauma Center, while her 11-year-old daughter Ladli and brother Anil were injured. Anil was discharged after first-aid treatment, while Ladli’s condition is stated to be critical. 

Chandni’s husband Manoj and three sons were not at home when the incident took place at around 10.30 am.

A North Delhi Municipal Corporation officer said the house belonged to Delhi Land and Development Office, and Manoj was hired as a caretaker.

Anil told police that he along with Chandni, Rooprani and Ladli were watching TV when the roof of the house caved in and the subsequently the house collapsed. “I rushed to the kitchen adjacent to the room and managed to save myself, but others were trapped under the rubble,” said Anil, who managed to escape with minor head injuries.
Manoj runs an ice candy shop and was nearby the house. He rushed to the spot and launched rescue efforts along with locals. Police and the fire department were also informed and four fire tenders were pressed into service.

“The injured were taken to nearby hospital where Chandni and Rooprani were declared brought dead,” a police officer said.

Adjoining buildings are multi-storeyed and house several automobile spare parts shops. Sources said that the buildings are either under the municipal corporation or are custodian properties, so occupants don’t have permission to renovate. “However, illegal construction is rampant,” said Anuj, a local resident. A case under sections 304-A (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life) and 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repairing buildings) has been registered against unidentified persons with Kashmere Gate police station.

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