Chennai: Techie, 23, killed in wall collapse in Anna Salai

A 23-year-old woman techie walking on the footpath of Anna Salai was killed on Friday after a part of the wall of an old building crashed on her during demolition.

Published: 28th January 2023 05:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2023 05:40 PM   |  A+A-

The footpath on Anna Salai near Thousand Lights metro station where a compound wall collapse killed a woman software engineer in Chennai on Friday | R Satish Babu

Express News Service

CHENNAI: A 23-year-old woman techie walking on the footpath of Anna Salai was killed on Friday after a part of the wall of an old building crashed on her during demolition. No safety procedures were followed during the demolition of the 60-year-old building, police said. 

The victim, identified as M Padma Priya, 23, of Usilampatti in Madurai district, was working in a private consulting firm in Murugesan Naicker complex on Greams Road. She was staying with her relatives in Pammal. 

The Anna Salai traffic police have arrested earthmover owner Balaji and operator Gunasekaran under section 304 A (causing death due to negligence) for operating the equipment without following safety procedures. 

Contractor did not follow safety norms for demolition, say cops

On Friday morning, Priya took a metro train to the Thousand Lights station located 800 metres from her office. She got out of the station and was walking towards her office when she was joined by her colleague Vinoth Kumar, 23, of Tiruchy. “Around 9 am, when they were walking on the footpath near the subway, a huge wall crashed on them.

While Vinoth Kumar, who was walking on the roadside, sustained injuries and fell unconscious, Priya got buried under the debris as she was walking close to the building,” a senior police officer said. Passersby rushed to help them. Padma Priya was taken to the Royapettah Government Hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.

Vinoth Kumar gained consciousness and left home after treatment, police said. Police said the owner of 3,000 sqft building from Thoothukudi had sold it to a new owner and the buyer had decided to demolish the building and had obtained permission for the same from the corporation. “The buyer had hired a private contractor to demolish the building.

The contractor had not carried out any safety measures during the demolition. Ideally, residents of the locality must be notified and public movement on the road must have been stopped,” a senior police officer said. The contractor had demolished the structure from inside leaving just a wall as a barricade between the road and the structure, police said.

The arterial road was buzzing with pedestrians at the time of the accident. “When Padma Priya was crossing the building, the earthmover on the other side had touched the wall to pull it inwards. But since the wall was standing without any support and since the building was at least six decades old it collapsed,” police said. Soon after the incident, workers fled from the spot. The Thousand Light police registered a case and informed Padma Priya’s parents, Pandi Murugesan and Pandiammal, about the accident.


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