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One dead as three-storey building collapses in Punjab's Mohali

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

A three-storey commercial building collapsed while digging work was on at an adjoining site in Punjab's Mohali district on Saturday, leaving one person dead, officials said.

Taking a serious note of the incident, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh asked the Mohali additional district magistrate to conduct a thorough probe into the matter and submit his report within a week.

The officials said three persons have been rescued and efforts are on to find out if more people were trapped under the debris.

"The commercial building collapsed when a JCB machine was digging an adjoining plot for construction of basement," Kharar Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Himanshu Jain said.

The officials said the heavy earth moving machine might have hit the foundation of the building, but added that the exact cause of the incident would be known after the inquiry.

A JCB machine operator, who was trapped under the debris, has died, the officials said.

Two persons were rescued earlier and one, who sustained a fracture in his arm, was taken out of the debris in the evening, Jain said.

The sub-divisional magistrate said that the exact number of persons trapped under the debris is not clear.

"Sniffer dogs have been pressed into service to help trace the trapped people," he said.

According to information received from Mohali Deputy Commissioner Girish Dayalan, two or three persons were believed to be still under the debris and rescue operation was underway on war footing, a statement issued by the state government said.

"We have made all arrangements for undertaking rescue operation at night to ensure nobody remains under the debris," Jain said.

A 30-member team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was engaged in the rescue operation and one more NDRF team from Ludhiana has also been called, the SDM, adding that police and civil administration personnel and members of some NGOs were also providing assistance in the rescue operation.

The chief minister directed the district administration to take all possible steps to rescue those trapped under the debris.

As per the chief minister's order, the entire cost of the treatment of those injured in the incident would be borne by the Punjab government, a state government spokesperson said.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dayalan said the SDM of Kharar has been ordered to inquire into the incident and submit a report within three days.

"How did this happen and did they (builder) have requisite permission to do this will be known only after the inquiry," said Dayalan.

The probe would also ascertain if the construction was illegal or not, the statement said.

The army has also been put on a standby to assist in the rescue operation incase the need arises, the DC said.

Requisite machinery and equipment were pressed into service in the rescue operation, the SDM said.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh earlier expressed anguish over the incident and said he has sought a detailed report from the Mohali deputy commissioner.

"Anguished to learn of the collapse of a three-storeyed building in Kharar today with 2 people trapped. @NDRF , Fire Brigade & Mohali Admin are on the spot for immediate rescue and relief. Have asked DC Mohali @GirishDayalan to send a detailed report on what caused this collapse," Singh tweeted.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, February 08 2020. 22:38 IST