Lucknow, Jan 24 (PTI) The Facebook post "Plz pray for my family" by Zishan Haider, a Congress leader sums up the anguish of the family members of those buried under the debris of a four-storey residential building in Hazratganj here.
The news of the collapse came as a shock for the veteran journalist Kulsum Talha as her daughter, grandson and another relative were feared trapped.
According to eyewitnesses, the collapse took place at around 6.45 pm.
Talha was adamant to reach the spot of the incident to look for her daughter Uzma, grandson Mustafa and others. However, she was held back by her relatives, who urged her to pray for their safety to Allah.
A few hours later, she received the news that Mustafa has been rescued and is currently undergoing treatment, offering her a glimmer of hope.
Cops posted at the site of the collapse had a tough time controlling and pacifying the grieving relatives.
The public which had gathered at the site gave way to the siren-blaring ambulances and other heavy machines for carrying out the rescue process.
Many even clicked photographs and made videos.
According to eyewitnesses, the rescue vehicles were initially finding it difficult to reach the site as the road was relatively narrow. However, as the news of the tragedy spread, local residents and other visitors in the vicinity removed their four-wheelers from the road, thereby, paving way for their entrance.
Traffic was restricted by the police from Dainik Jagran crossing to the apartment on Wazir Hasan road.
Residents of adjoining houses, apartments and colonies could also be seen watching the rescue activity unfolding from their balconies.
Shocked and scared, most of the neighbours of the ill-fated building refused to speak to the media.
A fire brigade personnel, who was undertaking a rescue operation said, "At the place where the building had collapsed, a woman was lying buried. She was pulled out by breaking the bricks and cutting the wood. She is now safe."
A resident of the area, Anuja said she was in her flat when the incident happened.
"At around 6.47 pm, we started shaking. I thought it was due to an earthquake. But I was told to come out of the house, as a nearby apartment had collapsed. Around seven to eight families were living in the apartment," she said.
UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh was seen escorting an injured to the hospital.
The spokesperson of All India Shia Personal Law Board Maulana Yasoob Abbas had also reached the site to enquire about the well-being of those living there.
As the rescue activities gathered momentum, filmmaker Muzaffar Ali was also seen enquiring about the well-being of Uzma.
JP Singh, a resident of Lucknow's Jopling Road, whose friend lives in a house next to the collapsed building heaved a sigh of relief that his friend and his family members are safe.
"The collapse of the Alaya apartment is very saddening. May God keep everyone safe. One of my friends who lives next to the apartment, his house was safe. He and his family members are safe," he said.