64 killed, 80 injured in building collapse in Indian capital

13:57, November 16, 2010      

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At least 64 people were killed and 80 others injured when a five-storeyed building collapsed in the Indian capital late Monday evening, said police on Tuesday.

Police said the 15-year-old building, where an illegal fifth floor was being constructed, caved in at 8:15 p.m. in Lalita Park area of Laxmi Nagar in the east of the national capital. The building probably was weakened due to heavy rains during the monsoon when Yamuna River flooded the area.

"Some 64 are confirmed dead while those injured have been admitted to a local hospital. The condition of some of the injured, mostly families of 10 migrant laborers staying in the building, are said to be serious," said a police official.

Local TV channels aired footage of rescue workers from the National Disaster Response Force, fire department, police, and civil defense working through the night and removing tons of concrete from the spot to track people trapped in debris.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who has been overseeing the rescue operations, has described the scale of the tragedy as "unprecedented".

"I don't think such a tragedy has taken place in Delhi in the recent past. 30 to 40 people are yet to be rescued," she said." I think this disaster happened because of the carelessness of the builder. I will order an inquiry into the incident."

Meanwhile, the police have registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the owner of the building, Amrit Singh, who is said to be absconding along with his family soon after the incident took place.

"A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident. An adjoining building also faced risk of collapse and hence people have been evacuated from it," said a police official.

Building collapses are common in India and are often blamed on poor construction or unscrupulous builders illegally adding additional floors.

Source: Xinhua


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