An early morning tragedy struck unsuspecting tea drinkers and others having breakfast in the heart of Secunderabad, when a building housing a popular Irani hotel collapsed.
According to last reports, 13 people died and over 15 were injured.
The accident happened around 6.30 a.m. on Monday morning.
According to officials, the centre near the City Light hotel is a place where labourers gather. Every morning between 8-9 a.m. is the peak time, when around 500-600 people gather. The kitchen of the hotel collapsed first and later the entire building.
Scores of people, including employees, maintenance contract staff of the municipal corporation and people sipping morning tea, fell victim as the roof of the two-floor building suddenly came down on them.
The decades-old City Light hotel, bakery and meeting point for people in Secunderabad, on the busy Rastrapathi Road was making preparations to serve up Haleem in the month of Ramadan.
It had also made constructions/alterations to expand in the recent past. According to the police, several of the injured were rushed to the nearby Gandhi Hospital for treatment. Rescue and relief teams took hours to cut through the metal and bring out people struck in the debris and ruins.
The fire department, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and the CISF personnel were involved in the rescue operations that stretched till the evening. The Chief Minister also announced Rs 7.5 lakh ex-gratia to the family members of the dead.
The Chief Minister asked officials to evolve a suitable “Comprehensive Building Structural Stability Policy” to regulate such buildings in consultation with experts, structural engineers, where public gatherings are more.
The Commissioner, GHMC informed that 307 buildings were identified as old and weak structurally and visually weak, by the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, as third party checking agency.