3 killed in under construction building collapse in Bengaluru

3 killed in under construction building collapse in Bengaluru

Three workers were killed and 12 injured after a five-storey building, half of it under construction, collapsed at Jayaramareddy Layout in Kasuvanahalli on Sarjapur Road in Bengaluru on Thursday evening. Over 15 others are yet to be traced.

Two of the deceased have been identified as Sheikh Mohmad and Anwar Ansari from Gorakhpur, UP, while the identity of the third victim is yet to be established.

The 12 injured were admitted to hospitals nearby. At least 15 others are suspected to be still stuck under the debris.

Rescue work by about 150 personnel from NDRF, police and fire brigade continued late into night.

Officials present at the site believe that 20 people, including five families, all construction workers from Raichur, Kalaburagi and places in north India were inside the building when it collapsed.

Locals rushed to the spot and rescured some workers from the debris.

Police commissioner T Suneel Kumar said the owner of the building, Rafeek, is absconding.

They have arrested his wife, Sameera, and are questioning her. "We have registered a case under IPC 304 (death due to negligence) and formed a special team to find Rafeek," he said.

BBMP commissioner Manjunath Prasad who visited the spot and supervised the rescue operations said, "Currently the focus is on rescuing the people trapped inside. We will initiate action against the site engineer, architect, contractor and the structural engineer for the lapse."

"My husband I and have been working on the building for the last four months. At about 4 pm, when we were on the fourth floor, my husband said he wanted to have tea and started climbing down the stairs. Suddenly, the building started tilting. Within no time, it fell on its side on the shops. I escaped without any harm but my husband got stuck inside," said Hasina, a worker.

Officials said that Rafeek built a two-storey structure six years ago to start a paying guest accommodation.

"Construction of three more floors on top of it began over six months ago," Whitefield Division DCP Abdul Ahad said.

Bengaluru Development Minister K J George told reporters that compensation of Rs 5 lakh will be given to the family of the deceased and the treatment cost of all the people injured in the tragedy will be borne by the government.

"We will take this issue seriously and action will be initiated against those responsible for this tragedy after a thorough investigation," he said.

Prem Prakash, who was on the site, said that he received a call on his mobile from a friend who screamed for help.

"It was 5.07 pm when my friend Sadanand called and said he is stuck under the debris and sought help. I rushed to the spot immediately. By then, firefighters were already at work. I called my friend time and again to instil courage. But he has not answered my calls after 5.50 pm," he said.

Prakash said Sadanand was to get married on May 3. "All preparations are on with the wedding cards already printed. He had come to the city just four days ago," he added.

Arjun, a gym trainer, said he was in front of the building talking to friends when the structure fell. "We ran from the spot and saved ourselves in the nick of time," he said.

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