Building sank six feet after earth beneath the foundation caved in

Residents of a two-storey building in R.S.Palya, Chennai, India  had a close shave in the wee hours of Saturday ( Nov 2013) when the building sank 6 feet into the ground after the earth beneath it caved in.

The building is about 20 years old. While a family of nine stayed on the ground floor, two other families lived on the top two floors.

Recounting their experience, Subramanya, a barber, said he returned home at around 9 p.m. and through the night they could hear glass panes in the house shaking. However, after the family had retired for the night , they were woken up by a sound.

The family residing on the ground floor comprises Mr. Subramanya, his wife, son and aunt along with his brother-in-law J. Lokesh and his wife and three children aged 9, 4 and 2 years respectively. Mr. Lokesh (34), a government employee, had bought the property nearly one-and-a-half-years ago at a cost of Rs. 22 lakh.

‘Heard loud sound’

“I got up because of a loud sound around 12.45 a.m. and realised the house had sunk. I along with my wife, aunt and my two-year-old nephew managed to get out of the house through a window. But my son, my brother-in-law and his wife along with the two other children were trapped inside,” Subramanya said.

The Fire and Emergency Services personnel cut open a window, and pulled them out. Mr. Lokesh sustained a minor injury on his leg.

A couple residing on the first floor and a family of five living on the second floor also escaped unhurt.

The BBMP officials, who visited the building, have said that the building should be demolished, the Banaswadi police said.

The police said there were two storm water drains close to the building. Quoting neighbours, the police said there was a lake bed very close to the area a few years ago. Due to these two water bodies, the police suspect that the mud had loosened beneath the building and had caved in.

( Courtesy: The Hindu )


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