Pachiayamma (47) was saved because seconds before the balcony of her second-floor flat at the TNSCB in Teynampet collapsed, she stepped into the house. The balcony collapsed killing 25-year-old Bhuvaneshwari and injuring two children.
Bhuvaneshwari’s parents, Sugunaraj and Lathamani, owned the ground-floor and second-floor flats. Pachiayamma was residing on the ground floor until recently before she moved to the second floor. The family that had recently moved into the ground-floor flat had gone out for the day.
“A few moments after I stepped into the house, I heard a loud crash. I came out and saw to my horror that the balcony had collapsed,” said Pachiyamma. “Furthermore, I was stuck inside the house. It was almost half-an-hour before rescue personnel got me out,” she added.
Rajila (42), another resident of the area, said she and her family members were having lunch when they heard the noise. “Everybody said it was a gas cylinder blast. But when we came out Bhuvaneshwari and the two kids were lying unconscious among debris,” she said.
The two injured boys - Rudesh and Adhavan - were admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. Rudesh had sustained injuries on his right leg, head and ear, while Adhavan had a head injury and a few bruises. The children’s parents declined comment. The doctors, however said, “Both the boys were injured and were given first aid. We cannot say anything until Monday. We have asked the parents to get scans, X-rays and other tests done.”
Police sources said that the house has been constructed illegally without following the norms of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA). According to them, the house should not have been extended beyond the ground floor. In addition, the owners had also reportedly constructed the balconies in an unauthorised manner.