The Telegraph
Saturday , July 12 , 2014
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Balcony collapse kills 1

The spot (circled) where the balcony was before it fell on Friday. (Bibhash Lodh)

A man died after a first-floor balcony of a north Calcutta house collapsed and fell on him early on Friday.

Chunks of concrete and parts of iron beams fell on Raja Prasad while he was sleeping on the pavement outside 181A CR Avenue in the Girish Park area. The 26-year-old man, who suffered multiple injuries, was pronounced dead at the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.

Raja’s wife Sita, who was sleeping beside him, said her husband failed to escape as he was sleeping right under the balcony.

“We were sleeping on the pavement. Suddenly we heard a loud sound of something crashing down. While most of us managed to run away, my husband could not. Concrete chunks and iron beams fell on him,” recounted Sita.

The body could be retrieved after personnel of the fire department and the disaster management group removed the concrete chunks

Raja, from Siwan in Bihar, drove cars for a living.

Sita said she had filed complaints against the “four owners” of the three-storeyed building — Pawan Gupta, Sundar Gupta, Ashok Gupta and Arvind Gupta — with Girish Park police station. Officers of the police station, however, denied having received any complaint.

“We have called Raja’s family on Saturday,” said an officer.

Residents of the locality said the building was poorly maintained. “We knew the balcony would collapse any time,” said a resident.

Metro tried to speak to the owners of the building but all preferred to keep mum. The building is situated between Ram Mandir and the CR Avenue-Girish Park crossing and houses a sari shop on the ground floor.

“Several buildings in central and north Calcutta are hazardous,” said a civic official.

Another collapse: The second-floor balcony of a three-storeyed house in Madan Gopal Lane, in central Calcutta, collapsed on Friday morning. No one was injured.