BANGALORE, August 21: “I tried to pull my mother, who was stuck between concrete slabs, and had stretched out her hand soon after the building caved in on Monday morning,” said Sannappa, eldest son of Nagamma (45), whose body was retrieved on Tuesday evening.
Recalling the horrific incident, Sannappa said he was on the second floor of the building while his mother was on the ground floor, which caved in after the basement sunk by about 10 feet.
“When the building began shaking and debris began falling, I rushed down from the second floor along with the other co-workers and saw my bleeding mother, caught between a concrete slab and a pillar, struggling to break free. I called her out and held her outstretched hand to save her, but in vain. But, others dragged me out of the building forcefully,” a weeping Sannappa recalled while explaining the turn of events to the police in the presence of this reporter.
Within seconds, the ground floor collapsed amid a cloud of dust engulfing the area. Commotion prevailed with workers running helter-skelter. Soon, the building was cordoned off.
Minutes before the tragedy, about 70 workers were having their breakfast on the ground floor. Most of them moved up to the second floor, where they had been deputed to work after mason Hanumesh asked them to start their work.
However, Nagamma along with the two others, Niranjan and Paswan, stayed back on the ground floor, where they had been deputed for work. All three lost their lives.
Nagamma had come to Bangalore from Manvi in Raichur district along with her three sons — Sannappa, Ravi and Hemanth — after her husband passed away in an accident two years ago.
“We were working as construction labourers in various parts of Raichur for a daily wage of Rs 150 per day,” said Sannappa.
“Some of our relatives who migrated to Bangalore told us that they were getting Rs. 300 a day, which is almost double, along with the accommodation in the under-construction building where they were working. We decided to join them and came 10 moths ago and started working in the building , which is nearing completion, he said.
“In a effort to earn a few more rupees, we have suffered a huge loss in the form of our mother,” he said. “We have decided to return to our native now”, he said adding that around 16 of his relatives, who are working with him, will also return to their native place.
Sannappa shuddered to imagine his brothers’ and other co-workers’ fate had the tragedy occurred at night. For, all of them sleep in the building.