Teams of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), fire fighting personnel, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Hyderabad Metro Rail helped clear the debris. The rescue teams deployed heavy cranes to clear the rubble. GHMC commissioner Krishna Babu supervised the rescue operation. One of the rescued hotel workers said there were 30 workers in the building at the time of the accident. The dead include four hotel employees and two people hailing from Odisha.
Locals alleged that the negligence by the municipal authorities led to the incident. Krishna Babu, however, said it was not a dilapidated structure and was also not among 57 buildings in Secunderabad which were issued demolition notices. “The buildings looked stable. The construction of a ‘bhatti’ for haleem (beef stew) on top of the building may have weakened the structure but the exact reason will be known only after a probe,” he said. The hotel owner was reportedly building the ‘bhatti’ or kiln for cooking haleem, a popular dish during Muslim holy month of Ramadan, on the top terrace of the hotel. The hotel owner was injured and his condition is stated to be critical while his son died.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who visited the site, ordered a probe. He later held a meeting with top officials and directed them to take steps to identify and demolish all dilapidated buildings in the city. The government has announced Rs.1.5 lakh ex-gratia each to the families of those killed. While Rs.50,000 will be paid by the government under ‘Apadhbandu’ scheme, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will provide Rs.1 lakh.
The municipal commissioner said a case would be filed against the hotel owner. Nearly six-decade-old City Light Hotel was a popular landmark in Secunderabad. Located on the busy Rashtrapati Road, it was famous for its Iranian tea, snacks, biryani and other lip-smacking dishes. The crash of the building threw traffic out of gear in the busy commercial area. The police diverted the traffic at several points, leading to long jams.