A father-son duo was killed, while another person received minor injuries, after more than a century-old building collapsed in Bara Hindu Rao area of north Delhi.
The building was in dilapidated condition and police claim to have informed civic authorities about the vulnerable old structures in the area, in May earlier this year.
The two deceased have been identified as 66-year-old Mohammad Naqi, and his son Mohammad Nafees alias Bunty, 35. The duo was taken to Ganga Ram hospital, where doctors declared them as brought dead. Bunty's brother Salman escaped with minor injuries.
Delhi police have registered a case under section 287 (negligent conduct), 337 (causing hurt), and 304 [(a) culpable homicide] of the Indian Penal Code against unknown persons. No arrests have been made so far.
Commissioner of North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Praveen Gupta has ordered an inquiry by Additional Commissioner in-charge and Chief Engineer of the Zone to find out the reasons and submit a report within three days.
Locals say the building, which was located in congested Gali Qaramatullah, Mohalla Shaikhiyan, Azad Market of Bara Hindu Rao area, was more than 150-year-old. However, the residents had recently got done some repair work.
According to the police, they received a call around 7:45 am about the incident and immediately rushed to the spot. Delhi Police officials, Delhi Fire Department and a team of Disaster Management started rescue work at the spot and took out three people from the debris, out of which two were dead.
Fire tenders and cranes could not reach near the spot due to narrow alleys and intertwined electric wires hanging all around in the area. The disaster management team had to work with hand-pulled carts to clear the debris.
"The rescue work continued till late in the evening and nobody else was found in the debris. We have registered a case and are investigating the matter," said deputy commissioner of police (north) Sindhu Pillai.
Locals in the area claimed that the collapse actually took place around 7 am, when they heard a loud bang followed by a thud.
"It was like a blast and the whole area was engulfed in dust and smoke," said Qamar Abbas, 40, a resident of the area.
Police claim that there are some buildings in the area that are disasters in waiting.