Seven persons including a pregnant woman were killed on Monday morning after a two-storey house crumbled down in Bengaluru’s Ejipura. Two more persons are feared trapped inside the debris.
A gas cylinder explosion is believed to have caused the walls of the building to collapse.
The deceased have been identified as Kalavati (69), Ravi Chandra (48), Hari Prasad (19), Pavan Kalyan (18), Ashwini, Saravana and one other.
The Fire Department was alerted around 6.45am when a 50-year-old woman was leaving for work and she heard an explosion.
“The house is around 15-20 years old. Everybody was asleep when the accident took place around 6.30-6.45am. Two families were living on the first floor,” Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy who was present at the spot told reporters.
“As of now, we cannot ascertain the cause of the accident. It is only after an investigation is conducted that we can tell if the cylinder explosion caused the building to collapse,” the minister said.
Another six people including two children were rescued and rushed to St Philomena’s Hospital. The bodies of the dead have been sent to Victoria Hospital for post-mortem.
Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George said, "An ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakh woll be given to the kin of the deceased and the injured will be given a compensation of Rs 50,000."
"The rescued children would be provided free education by the state government," the minister added.
Officials of the National Disaster Response Force, State Fire Department, and Bengaluru Bruhat Mahanagara Palike are engaged in the rescue and relief process. Three fire department personnel were also injured during the rescue operations.
The impact of the blast has also damaged nearby buildings.
City Police Commissioner of Bengaluru Suneel Kumar is overseeing the rescue operations.
Along with the Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj is also at the accident spot.
In the same area, an illegally constructed multi-storey building was demolished after it tilted to one side in August. According to reports, the building began to tilt after the pillars of the building developed cracks after being battered by the rains the previous night.
In August 2016 a cylinder blast in the same locality left three people severely injured.