The front portion of a two-storey building in a congested lane off Amherst Street in north Kolkata collapsed on a grocery shop on the ground floor of the building on Sunday morning.
Police said the owner of the grocery shop had a lucky escape as he had stepped out a few minutes before the collapse to relieve himself.
The police said no one was hurt or trapped.
“The grocery shop owner and the occupants of the first floor escaped unhurt because they were not in the building when the front portion collapsed,” said an officer of Amherst Street police station.
“While the shopkeeper had stepped out to relieve himself, the family that lives on the first floor is out of town.”
Residents of the neighbourhood said the building - 15A/1 Buddha Ostagar Lane - was several decades old and had not been repaired for a long time.
A number of buildings in north Kolkata are in a similar state and have been declared “dangerous” by Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
The police said it was yet to be ascertained whether 15A/1 Buddha Ostagar Lane had been declared “dangerous” by the KMC.
“No one could apprehend that a part of the building would collapse like this,” said a resident of the neighbourhood.
According to the rule, KMC will remove the debris and inspect the building to assess the extent of damage. “If any other part is found to be in a precarious state, it will be demolished by the civic body,” a KMC official said.