Man dies after rain-soaked roof collapses in Madurai

Balasubramanian's body was then sent to the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) for a postmortem examination.
Personnel from the police and fire departments rushed to the spot, and cleared the debris for several hours before they could recover Balasubramanian's body.
Personnel from the police and fire departments rushed to the spot, and cleared the debris for several hours before they could recover Balasubramanian's body.(Representative image)

MADURAI: A 44-year-old man died after a portion of the rain-soaked roof of his house collapsed, following heavy downpour, near the Mathichiyam area in Madurai in the wee hours of Friday. This is the first such incident reported in the district this year, according to the disaster management department.

Sporadic rain has been lashing Madurai district for the past couple of days. Following the heavy downpour, a portion of roof of a house collapsed in Mathichiyam area, killing Balasubramanian (44). Sources said, his family members had gone to a relative's place, while Balasubramanian had stayed back. On Friday early morning, Balasubramanian was sleeping, when the rain-soaked roof gave away. On hearing the loud thud, neighbours stepped outside to find out that the roof had collapsed. Personnel from the police and fire departments rushed to the spot, and cleared the debris for several hours before they could recover Balasubramanian's body.

Balasubramanian's body was then sent to the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) for a postmortem examination. The Mathichiyam police have registered a case and initiated an investigation. A preliminary inquiry revealed that the house was several decades old.

Speaking to TNIE, a senior official from the disaster management department in Madurai said that this was the first incident of house collapse in the district this year. Officials added that the disaster management department had served notice to the public works department to carry out maintenance works on old government buildings in the district, last year. The city corporation had issued notices to owners of old houses.

"The city corporation has been issuing notices in case of old buildings under the Tamil Nadu Urban Local Bodies Act. Once the notice is served, either the owner has to demolish the building, or the corporation will demolish it and slap a fine on the owner. The house in Mathichiyam, the roof of which collapsed on Friday, was said to have been recently sold. The same was informed to the corporation. The building was to be demolished by the new owner, and thus a notice was not served. Before the demolishing works could begin, however, the roof collapsed," said a senior official from Madurai city corporation. The official added that in the past four months, owners of 468 old buildings have been served notices by the city corporation. 

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