Two families have been made homeless after the collapse of a building which was being demolished above their heads.
A family of six, including elderly grandparents, were inside their flat when the building collapsed from above them on Monday (May 12).
Cab driver 45-year-old Akmal Mahmood said he “can’t believe they were alive” after experiencing what he initially thought was an earthquake.
Debbie Murphy, who lives next door to the collapsed ground-floor home, in Hatfield Road, Ealing, is a single mother of three including a four-week-old baby.
Both families spoke to getwestlondon from Ealing Council's Perceval House, where they claim they have been told to "get in line" like everyone else who needs to talk to the council.
By late Tuesday afternoon they had still not been spoken to.
Ms Murphy had not been able to eat all day and had run out of nappies and bottles for her baby. Finally, at 3pm she was told she could move to a B&B.
By 4pm, the Mahmood family were still waiting to be seen by council staff to arrange accommodation.
The night after the collapse the Mahmood family - including Akmal Mahmood, his elderly parents, his sister and her two young children - were given accommodation, by the council, in one room with two beds at a hotel in Harrow.
Ms Murphy was put up in a hotel room in Uxbridge with “no cot”, so stayed awake all night “terrified” of rolling on her baby, she said.
“We have heard that apparently the council had ordered the building above to be demolished because it had no planning permission," she added. "Why on earth did they not oversee its demolition, which should never have happened whilst families were living below and next door?
“I cannot believe Mr Mahmood and his family weren’t killed."
“I have nowhere to go," Ms Murphy told getwestlondon. "I am completely homeless, I am relying on the council and I have no insurance.
“When it happened it was like a huge rumble. When I came out of my house I could not believe my eyes. My children’s bedroom is right next to the collapse.”
Mr Mahmood said: “My parents are both diabetic. They are frail and when I heard the big boom and the building shook I panicked as there is no way I could get them out of there quickly.
"The collapse was directly above our heads. It is a miracle we weren’t killed and I am glad my nephews were at school.
“Apparently, that was an illegal building and had been ordered to be demolished.
“Well now we are homeless and relying on the council, but no-one is talking to us.”
An Ealing Council spokeswoman told getwestlondon: "The council is taking planning enforcement action against the owner [of the building that collapsed] Mr Naib Sidhu after he failed to comply with a planning enforcement notice to re-instate the buildings, served on June 20, 2012.
"The court hearing to decide the trial date will be held on Thursday (May 14) at Ealing Magistrates’ Court.
"A demolition notice is required under the Building Act but was not submitted by the owner.
"The council was notified of the remedial work being carried out by a tenant and visited the property and subsequently notified the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
"The council’s civil response team were on site soon after they became aware of the situation.
"Building has been made safe by the council's building control team.
"The council has called in the HSE who is conducting an investigation.
"Families impacted were provided with emergency accommodation yesterday. The Murphy family has now been placed in temporary accommodation locally. The council is assisting the Mahmood family, who need a three bed temporary accommodation."