A tragic incident cut short the lives of five members of a family, including three children, who died in the early hours of Saturday after the roof of the house they were living in collapsed, burying them under the rubble.
The incident took place in Anand Nagar railway colony under Alambagh police station.
The deceased were identified as Satish Chandra (41), his wife Sarojini Devi (35) and their three children Harshit (13), Harshita (10), and Ansh (5). The family members were fast asleep when the roof of their house collapsed.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the deaths and directed all senior officials to reach the spot. Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak visited the spot and instructed the officials to expedite the rescue operation.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Upendra Agarwal said that the incident took place in the early hours of Saturday but it came to light around 5 am.
“On Saturday morning, the locals noticed that the roof of the house in the Railway colony had collapsed and they called the police," he said.
“We first received information at 8 am that the roof of a house had collapsed in Anand Nagar under the Alambagh police station. Local police, fire brigade, National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force teams were rushed to the spot. It turned out that the terrace had collapsed. The bodies of all those who were recovered were taken to a local hospital, where the doctors pronounced them dead,” he said.
According to railway officials, the building had been declared “condemned” and the family had been asked to vacate the house but it did not do so.
The JCP said it would be discussed with the railway officials whether the other residents in the colony would be evicted or not.
Station House Officer of Alambagh, BC Tiwari, said that it had come to light that the house was initially allotted to Satish’s father Ram Chandra, who was a class four employee in the Railways, and after his death to his wife Ram Dulari, who also worked in the Railways on a contractual basis as a class four employee. By 2013, both parents of Satish had died and he kept living in the house with his family.
The house was over 40 years old and had been declared abandoned by the Northern Railway's Lucknow Division.
NR Senior Divisional Commercial Manager Rekha Sharma, in a statement, said that the house which collapsed was also under the process of demolition like other abandoned houses.
“None of the deceased in this accident was a railway employee. This incident is being investigated,” she said.
The narrow bylane of Anand Nagar locality was crowded with people as backhoes struggled to remove the rubble. But as time ticked, hopes of survivors diminished.
Satish Chandra’s elder brother Amit Chandra was inconsolable after he learnt about the death of his brother’s entire family in the tragedy.
Lucknow District Magistrate Surya Pal Gangwar also visited the spot to take stock of the situation.