Looks like it is time to call the pied piper. In a bizarre incident reported from Uttar Pradesh, the mischief of rats appears to have brought down a three-storey building in the city of Agra. The incident took place on Sunday when thousands of rats who were burrowing underground for years managed to damage the foundation of a building near the Mankameshwar temple in Agra. The area near the three-storey building has had a high population of rats for many years now, damaging the sewage pipelines and other infrastructure around, the Times of India reported. Officials have said that the foundations of dozens of houses may have been weakened due to this problem.
According to the report, the owner of the house fearing that the building had become unstable vacated the place along with his family after heavy rains entered the underground burrows on Saturday evening. A few hours later, the fears of the family came true after the building collapsed. The whole incident was captured on camera and has gone viral ever since. The report stated that besides the Mankameshwar temple area in Agra, the foundation of buildings near a dozen other localities in the old city have also been damaged due to the rat problem.
These areas include- Jeevani Mandi, Philip Ganj, Kacheri Ghat, Belanganj, Patiram Gali, Gudri Mansoor Khan, Rawatpara, Peepal Mandi and Seb ka Bazaar among others.
The building that collapsed on Sunday was located at the Teelay Wali Gali in Kacheri Ghat in the locality. Ravi Mathur, the Peepal Mandi councillor, said that the foundation of the house had been completely hollowed out. He added that the place was occupied by Sudhir Kumar Verma, along with eight others of his family. According to Mathur, Verma had tried all measures to get rid of the rats but was not successful. He vacated the place on Saturday on the suggestion of friends and neighbours. While the house was vacated before the collapse took place, the family lost all their possessions as they had left it behind.
Verma told TOI: “My ancestral house was destroyed in seconds. My family and I had a narrow escape. We tried everything possible to get rid of the rats, and stop the damage to the foundations, but nothing worked. After the recent rains and high-speed winds, the walls developed cracks. We knew it was a dangerous situation, but not that the building would collapse like this.”