New Delhi: Five people, including four minor students, were killed after two floors of an under-construction building housing a coaching class collapsed in Bhajanpura area in northeast Delhi on Saturday, fire department officials said.
They said around 30 students, all minors, were attending classes at the coaching centre when the two upper floors of the four-storey building collapsed, trapping them under the debris.
The fourth floor of the building was under construction and did not have a roof, the officials said.
The fire department received a call around 4.30 pm, following which seven fire tenders were rushed to the spot, the officials said.
The area has very narrow lanes and rescuers struggled to get access to the building.
Thirteen people, including minor students, have been shifted to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, they said, adding that Umesh Kashyap, the owner of the building, is also among the dead.
During the rescue operation, all the persons found under the rubble were shifted to hospitals, police said.
The injured have been identified as Sujata Tiwari (23), Saurabh (9), Nitin (12), Umesh Kashyap (30), Farhan Sultan (6), Uma Bharti (7), Arti (9), Krishna (9), Busra Parveen (4), Sidora Parveen (9), Dishu (14), Swati (9), Harsh (6) and Kirti Tyagi (10), they said.
Sujata, Saurabh, Nitin (12) were taken to GTB hospital. Umesh, Farhan, Uma, Arti, Krishna, Busra, Sidora Dishu, Swati and Harsh were taken to Jag Pravesh Chander Hospital, Shastri Park. While Kirti was taken to Panchsheel Hospital, Bhajanpura, a senior police officer said.
Umesh, Farhan, Krishna, Dishu and Kirti were declared brought dead.
"During investigation, it was revealed that a tuition centre was being run in the building. Students were being tutored on the third floor. Suddenly, its roof collapsed and all the students were trapped under the debris," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northeast) Ved Prakash Surya said.
Condoling the death of the four students, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal said he has directed officials to provide all possible support for the speedy recovery of the injured.
"Deeply saddened to learn of the tragic deaths including those of innocent children during the building collapse in Bhajanpura, East Delhi. May God give strength to their family and loved ones to deal with this tragedy," Baijal tweeted.
"Have directed all concerned to provide all possible support for the speedy recovery of the injured. Action will be taken against those found guilty of lapses which led to this tragic accident," he said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who visited the site, also expressed grief over the death of the four students.
"Visited site of Bhajanpura accident. Am pained by tragic death of 4 students and owner of the coaching institute. One illegal floor was being constructed which collapsed. Inquiry is being ordered. Guilty shall not be spared. Sending proposal for compensation to EC for approval," the chief minister tweeted.
Arif Sultan, the father of one of the deceased, identified as Farhan Sultan (6), said, "My son was studying on the second floor along with 10 to 15 other students. My daughter, who was in eighth standard called me and informed about the incident. I rushed to the spot and climbed the stairs. I took out my child by myself after around one-and-a-half hour. He was not breathing. We took him to the hospital where he was declared brought dead."
Laxmi, the mother of deceased Krishna and injured Nitin, said, "My children were studying there from past six months. They should not have moved them to the third floor as we heard from the other locals that the construction material was there. I lost my son Krishna and Nitin is injured. He is admitted at the GTB hospital."
Sushil Sharma, who was among the first to reach the spot after the incident, said the locals entered the building through the roof of an adjoining building and started removing the students trapped under the debris.
He said his nieces, twins, studying in the same institute, both in class 10, preferred to study at home on Saturday.
Another local resident Aman Sharma, said that he heard the news of building collapse on TV.
"The institute was very old. I am 30-year-old and I was also one of the students of this coaching institute during my schooling. The news is very sad and may gob give strength to the families who lost their kids," Sharma said.