Day 4: No survivors,5 more bodies seen

After four days of thorough search operations and no survivor found on day four,the mode of operation at the collapsed Jalandhar factory has now been changed to mechanical action — now,heavy JCB machines will be put into action to remove the debris as soon as possible.

Written by Amrita Chaudhry | Jalandhar | Published:April 20, 2012 3:18 am

After four days of thorough search operations and no survivor found on day four,the mode of operation at the collapsed Jalandhar factory has now been changed to mechanical action — now,heavy JCB machines will be put into action to remove the debris as soon as possible.

While the death toll on day four rose to 12,five more bodies were sighted by the rescue teams under the debris. Till date,75 people have been rescued.

Beginning early Monday morning,the Army and the NDRF have been chipping at the huge mass of debris to ensure that these do not collapse and fall on the survivors stuck under the rubble. However,with conditions getting tougher by each passing day and possibility of survivors diminishing the mode of rescue operations called for change. Foul smell emanating from the buried bodies and with rising temperatures,the operations are getting tougher.

However,when it comes to removing the debris from the collapse site,there were contradictions in the claims made by the Army and the NDRF. While the Army claimed that only 15 per cent of the debris have been removed,NDRF maintained that 70 per cent of the building has been searched and 40 to 50 per cent debris cleared.

Deputy Commissioner Priyank Bharti,meanwhile,backed the Army’s claim. Moreover,while the Army claimed to have sighted five bodies,for NDRF,the figure was three. “We have searched around 80 per cent area of the building and spotted some dead bodies,but no survivors,” said NDRF Commandant R K Verma.

Around 12.25 am on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday,the rescue teams managed to extricate Nitish Kumar,who had spent close to 73 hours under the debris. Following this,no other body was found.

Col Simerjeet Singh,who heads the 103 Engineers and has been on rescue operation since early Monday morning,said: “We managed to rescue Nitish today. We have been able to make some four to five vertical shafts right from the top to the ground level. We have also been able to make the shafts meet at some common points. Our men have gone through these but have not found anyone alive.”

“However,this does not mean that there could be no more survivors. There is always a possibility and we have seen some five bodies. There may be some overlapping when it comes to finding bodies as well as survivors by rescue teams,” he added.

Regarding the procedure that the Army will follow from now on,he said: “We will begin clearing the debris form the sides. After assessing the situation,we will decide how deep a JCB machine has to go to remove the debris. This could be anywhere between one feet to one meter. After one shave,our men will comb through the vacant space or any opening that we come across.”

Asked whether NDRF too agrees to this plan,Singh said: “I have not discussed the matter with them but they too are following the same plan more or less. They will work just they have been doing till date while my boys will follow our plan.”

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