THOOTHUKUDI: Three persons, including a child, were crushed to death after the roof of the first floor of a 60-year-old house collapsed and fell on the ceiling of the ground floor, which also crashed, in Thoothukudi during the early hours on Monday.
The victims were identified as Thangavel (38), his wife Rajalakshmi, and their 18-month-old adopted daughter, Janani. They died on the spot.
Two others, Lakshmi (75), Thangavel’s mother and Muthu((40), his elder sister, who were sleeping in the front portion of the house escaped unhurt.
Police and Fire and Rescue Department were informed. Men from the Fire department saved Lakshmi and Muthu and then pulled out the bodies of Thangavel, Rajalakshmi and Janani from under the debris. Thoothukudi North police registered a case and began a probe.
The three victims were sleeping in the hall on the ground floor when the roof of the first floor collapsed on the roof of the ground floor. The two roofs then crashed on the three sleeping victims.
The sound of the collapse was not heard by the neighbours. Only after they heard Lakshmi’s screams they ran in to help.
Police said the wooden beams and lintels were extensively damaged by termites. Police wondered how the damaged wood held fast for so long. Another reason cited by police was the use of calcium as adhesive. Police said that when excess weight was placed on calcium the roof would not stand for long.
Immediately after the building collapse the Superintendent of Police, Ashwin Kotnis, Thoothukudi ASP, Arun Sakthi Kumar, visited the spot for an inquiry. Corporation Commissioner, S. Madhumathi, Collector, M.Ravi Kumar, and a local MLA, S. T. Chellapandian also visited the spot.