Kolkata: A 17-year-old girl died in sleep when a portion of the roof of a dilapidated building caved in and fell on her early on Saturday morning.
This is the second incident in the past 15 days when a resident of an old house died after a portion of it collapsed and fell on the deceased. Three members of a family, a 94-year-old person, his 85-year-old wife and 56-year-old daughter were killed when the house they used to live in Burrabazar collapsed a fortnight ago.
Around 1.30 am on Saturday, a portion of the first floor roof of the one-storeyed house on BT Road caved in. The deceased, Puja Gupta, was sleeping inside the room when the accident took place. Her father Surendra Kumar who was sleeping outside the building along with local residents woke up because of the loud noise. They extricated her from the rubbles and took her to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital where she was pronounced brought dead. Her mother Sunita Devi and brother Sandeep had gone to a relative's house in Kankinara. Puja's father is an auto driver.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) had declared the building "dangerous and unsafe" in 2001. But despite the KMC's notice, four families who are tenants, continued to live in the building by paying Rs 4 as monthly rent.
The owner of the building got in touch with the KMC when a portion of the building collapsed four years ago when the civic authorities declared the house "condemned."
Civic officials who visited the spot said a huge banyan tree had grown on the roof of the house. Following complaints room local people, the owner fell the tree on Saturday. It is quite possible that the roots of the tree had given support to the roof which was not repaired for decades. Once the roots were removed, the support system got disconnected and the roof caved in killing the inmate.