Collecting water from public tap proves fatal for victims

Collecting drinking water early on Monday morning proved fatal for Ravichandra, one of the victims of the building collapse at Gundappa Layout, Ejipura.

Drinking water is supplied once in two days to the locality, mostly around 6.30 am. There is only one tap at 9th Cross where residents come to collect drinking water.

Ravichandra, an assistant in a private company, had gone outside around 6.15 am.

“I spotted him having a coffee around 6.15 am. He rushed back saying that he had to collect drinking water,” said Nithin, a local resident.

He was standing near the tap collecting water when the roof of the building suddenly came crashing down on him.

“He would’ve probably survived had he not gone to collect water,” Nithin added.

It was more or less a similar fate with Kalavathi. She had just come out and was standing near Ravichandra, holding the pot waiting for her turn when the building collapsed.

The tragedy left local residents totally shocked, while many of them didn’t go to work.

“We’re completely shocked to see the tragedy. I had spoken to Ashwini on Sunday night. It’s hard to digest that she is no more,” Anu, a neighbour told DH.

Ashwini and Saravana found the rent too high and had planned to move out of the house next month, she said.

Most residents stayed back in their houses and watched the rescue operation.

“We’ve preferred not to go to work. It’s a scar that remains for ever,” Vanaja and Ramesh, local residents and employees at a private office said.

It was one of the biggest rescue operations the city has witnessed in recent times while dealing with building collapses.

The seven-hour operation began around 7.30 am and concluded around 2.30 pm. Over 50 men from police, NDRF, fire force departments took part in the operations.

The police had blocked all entry points to 9th Cross of Gundappa Layout and had cordoned off the entire area.

The team struggled to retrieve bodies due to heavy debris.

“For us, clearing the debris was the toughest challenge. We didn’t even know how many of them were trapped inside. There was very little hope that Saravana could be alive. He was dead hours before his body was retrieved around 2 pm,” said a senior fire officer.

Residents of the adjoining buildings were vacated as a precautionary measure.

A fire tender had been stationed near the spot.

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