HYDERABAD: Three pushcart vendors were buried alive Saturday, when a portion of a 60-year-old building came crashing down in the busy Monda Market in Secunderabad. The incident occurred in what once used to be Punjab National hotel, where demolition works were going on to construct a commercial complex. According to eyewitnesses and police officials, the roof and walls of the old structure collapsed around 3.30 pm, while a few workers were engaged in the demolition work.
Venkatesh, one of the workers said, “We were demolishing a wall and slab of the first floor when it suddenly caved in with a thud and I quickly ran away.
Within five minutes, the entire building collapsed.” Three earth-movers were pressed into service to clear the debris and rescue persons trapped while a team from the Central Industrial Security Force arrived at the spot.
It took three hours for the rescue workers to extricate two labourers from under the rubble, while three vendors were found dead.
The deceased were identified as Shakiullah, a comb merchant and resident of Mangalhat, Srinu who sold curtains and other items and Bikshapathi, another vendor who resided in Secunderabad.
The injured labourers are Mallesh Yadav and Nagnath, who were shifted to Gandhi hospital.
Police said that four partners had purchased the building and engaged a builder to develop it.
Manik Chand Jain, Raju Modi, Mahaveer Chand Jain and Manohar Chand Jain had purchased the building from Punjab National management and proposed to construct a commercial complex.
Meanwhile, mayor Mohammed Majid Hussain, who visited the spot, said they would initiate criminal action against the owners who took up demolition activity without GHMC’s permission.
He announced `1 lakh compensation to the victim’s family members.
* Four persons bought the Punjab Hotel building and engaged a developer to construct a commercial complex * Demolition work was going on Saturday when the whole building collapsed * Three pushcart vendors buried alive under the rubble * GHMC plans criminal action against the owners for taking up demolition without permission