Rescue work for Delhi collapsed building still on, toll rises to 67

16:35, November 17, 2010      

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The death toll in the building collapse in east Delhi rose to 67 on Wednesday, even as rescue workers continued to search for any survivors trapped under the debris.

Indo-Asian News Service said some 20 people were feared to be still buried under the debris.

The debris clearance operation will take some more hours to complete, fire brigade officials informed.

Director of Delhi Fire Services R. C. Sharma said that rescue operations could wind up by Wednesday afternoon.

"The rescue workers would have to remove every bit of debris and ensure nobody is trapped in the basement," he said.

The foundation of the building had weakened due to water seeping in during the monsoon when the Yamuna river had breached its banks.

Meanwhile, a magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident.

The Delhi government directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to urgently make a survey of all buildings in Laxmi Nagar area, where the accident took place, to determine their structural deficiencies.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that it seems to be a case of negligence as the accumulated water in the basement for more than two months since the monsoon was not removed.

The 15-year-old five-storey building, which housed more than 200 people, caved late Monday.

Officials said no more bodies have been recovered since Tuesday night. However, the number of injured has increased from 74 to 82 and more people were trapped in the rubble of the building that collapsed Monday night.

The owner of the unauthorized building, Amrit Singh, was arrested Tuesday night and will be produced in court Wednesday.

Three nearby buildings have also been evacuated and their residents were staying in makeshift camps on the roadside.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government will give 200,000 rupees (4,000 U.S. dollars) each as compensation to kins of those who died in the east Delhi building collapse.

Those injured will be given 100,000 rupees each, while those orphaned will get 50,000 rupees.

Source: Xinhua


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