Labourer dies after column collapses at Delhi Cantt air force station; kin allege no safety gear given

A 40-year-old labourer died and four others sustained injuries while constructing a column at a building inside the Air Force Station, Delhi Cantt.

The victim and his wife had been working at the site for more than three weeks, constructing a mess building. Other workers alleged they had asked the construction supervisor and contractor to provide them with safety equipment but were denied the same.

Police have registered a case based on the workers’ complaints under IPC sections 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repairing buildings) and 304A (causing death by negligence) against the contractor and supervisor. No arrest has been made yet. Senior officials at the Delhi Cantt said an enquiry will be conducted against the contractor and supervisor.

The incident took place on August 10 in the afternoon. Around 5-6 labourers were making a column when it collapsed on them; they sustained injuries as heavy construction material fell on them. The deceased, Halle Kalyan, sustained injures to his neck and died later. His wife, Seema, alleged that their employers did not help and Kalyan wasn’t admitted to a hospital which led to his death.

“We had asked for safety equipment like a crane because we knew it would be dangerous to construct a column without it. But the supervisor said other workers have never asked for any equipment… We were trying to make the column but couldn’t balance it due to the height and weight of the material. It fell on us… They stopped the work and gave us leave, saying it was Raksha Bandhan. The construction company owner, site supervisor and contractor didn’t take us to any hospital for treatment,” alleged Seema.

Kalyan went back home and later died in his sleep. Seema said he complained of headaches and neck pain. She took him to the hospital with the help of her neighbours but he was declared dead on arrival.

Kalyan is survived by his parents, wife and their two children. Seema and her family live in Delhi’s Jharoda Kalan and hail from Sagar, Madhya Pradesh.