Residents of the building ran out around 7 p.m. when they felt the structure “shake”. Moments later, the structure partially collapsed. Neighbours immediately alerted the police and the Fire and Emergency Services Department. As a precautionary measure, the police evacuated all five families from the building.
Puttenahalli ward councillor R. Prabhavati Ramesh said the 30-year-old building was constructed on a 60×40 site. “There are nine houses in the building, of which only three were occupied,” she said.
One of the residents, Siddha Reddy, said, “After seeing the cracks, my family members vacated the house, around 6.30 p.m., and the building collapsed at 7 p.m.”
Rajashekhar Reddy, another resident, said his sister suffered a twisted ankle while running out of the house.
Most of the residents were in a daze, without any clue about living arrangements in the immediate future.
The police said the building owner, Harsha, is absconding. According to the police, four families had vacated the building because of its bad condition. “Cracks had developed in the first two floors several years ago, yet the owner constructed two more floors on top last year. There were three shops on the ground floor,” the police added.
When the building collapsed, an electricity wire passing close to the structure snapped, resulting in power cut in the surrounding area.
Ms. Ramesh said the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike was taking “precautionary measures” to prevent any danger to the neighbouring buildings. The damaged building would be demolished soon, she said.
The Puttenahalli police have registered a case against the building owner for negligence.