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A portion of a 65- year-old building belonging to the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation collapsed in Nagapattinam district early this morning, killing eight transport department staffers, police said. The TNSTC crew members were sleeping in the building, which was constructed in 1952, when it collapsed around 3.30 am, killing them on the spot. Three persons were injured and rushed to the Karaikal General Hospital, a police official said. Chief Minister K Palaniswami condoled the deaths and announced cash relief to their families, besides jobs for their kin. "I have directed that a sum of Rs 7.5 lakh be given to each of the families of those killed in this unfortunate incident as a special gesture," he said. Further, Rs 1.5 lakh would be given to those with severe injuries and Rs 50,000 for persons with simple injuries, he said, and wished for their speedy recovery. In a statement, he identified the victims as Dhanapal, Manivannan, Kani, Prabakaran, Balu, Chandrasekhar, Ramalingam and Muniappan, and expressed sympathies with their families. Palaniswami said he had directed that the entire relief sum, including for the injured, be provided from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund. He said he had also issued directions for providing jobs, based on their qualifications, in the transport corporation to one member from each of the victims' families "as a special gesture". He added that he had deputed Handlooms Minister O S Manian and Transport Minister M R Vijayabaskar to visit Porayar and expedite relief work. The ministers as well as the district collector and the superintendent of police would also meet the grieving families, Palaniswami said.
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