Disused public toilet collapses, 12-year-old pulled out of rubble

A 12-year-old boy was injured after an abandoned MCD toilet building in north Delhi’s Jahangirpuri collapsed on Wednesday. Rescue operations continued till late in the night amid fears that there could be more children trapped inside.

Locals told police that they suspected thieves pulling off iron rods from the dilapidated building caused the collapse of the roof. Y S Mann, MCD’s director for press and information, told Deccan Herald that it was a possibility as the area is notorious for such thieves.

The call for help was made at 5.45 pm on Wednesday. A few children were playing under the building when a large portion of the roof suddenly collapsed. The fire department and disaster management team rushed to the spot and began removing the debris.

A 12-year-old boy was rescued after a couple of hours of the collapse. He was rushed to a nearby hospital. Police said he received serious injuries.

Locals told the rescue teams that more children were playing with the rescued boy.
However, N Gnanasambandan, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West district), said that only one child was ultimately found in the debris and the rescue operation had ceased by 10 pm.

The fire department, however, said the operations would continue till late in the night.
The toilet building is located in the B-Block of Jahangirpuri.

Mann said the toilets had been set up several years ago for the residents of a resettlement colony there. However, once sewer lines were set up in the locality three years ago, the building ceased to be used as toilets. Instead, children played in the building.

“The building was in a dilapidated condition and was set to be demolished soon. A decision had been taken in 2013 to set up a gymnasium at the spot where the building stood,” said Mann.

Any decision to take action against the guilty would be considered only on Thursday.

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