Five children die in Delhi wall collapse, probe ordered

New Delhi–At least five children, all below the age of 10, died here after a boundary wall under construction collapsed on them Wednesday, a fire brigade official said. The Delhi government has ordered an inquiry into it.

The incident took place around 9.30 a.m. at Dallupura village in New Ashok Nagar area of east Delhi while the children were playing near the wall being built on a plot of land.

Delhi Urban Development Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said a magisterial inquiry has been constituted under the deputy commissioner (revenue) to probe the incident.

He made the announcement in the ongoing session of the Delhi assembly and said the government would give a compensation of Rs.1 lakh to the family members of the deceased children and compensation of Rs.50,000 to families of those injured.

Police, fire department officials and members of Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) began rescue operations.

“We pulled out six children and rushed them to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital, but five were dead,” Anjali Diwakar, a DDMA official, told IANS.

“All the children lived with their parents in single-room houses around the plot,” a police officer said.

The deceased have been identified as Amit, 7, Kanchan, 7, Ankit, 6, Baby, 4, and Aditya, 2, while an injured Saraswati, 4, has been admitted to hospital. Her condition was critical, police said.

“I was in my house when I heard the commotion. When I came out, I found my two children, Ankit and Baby, trapped under the debris,” Mithlesh, who lost her children, told IANS.

“I could not do anything. I screamed at the constructor but it was too late,” she said.

Kanchan’s father Manoj said: “I was at work. I ran towards the house but rescue workers took her to hospital. She was no more.”

Police have registered cases under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and Section 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repairing buildings) of the Indian Penal Code against plot owner Vijender Gujjar and contractor Bhanwar Singh.

“They were constructing a wall illegally and technical standards were not followed,” said Deputy Commissioner B.M. Mishra.—IANS