At least 13 persons, including six firemen, were confirmed dead as more bodies were pulled out from the debris in the rescue operation that continued overnight at the site in Mushtaq Ganj near Suffiana Chowk of Ludhiana near Tuesday where a polymer factory building collapsed Monday after a major fire. Eight more bodies were pulled out since Monday late, taking up the toll to 13. Three firemen were still missing till the filing of this report.
Toll reaches 13, dead include 6 firemen
The bodies of sub fire officers Rajinder Sharma and Raj Kumar were recovered Tuesday. The sanitary inspector of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and local Valmiki leader Laxman Dravid was also found dead. His body was recovered Monday late.
Other deceased whose bodies were found since Monday late were identified as Sandeep, Amarjot, Baldev Raj, Dhan Bahadur and Ghanaiyya, all workers at the factory Amarson Polymers.
The six fire department employees whose bodies have been recovered were identified as Raj Kumar, Rajinder Sharma, Sumaon Gill, the three fire officers, and firemen Puran Singh, Rajan and Vishal. The missing firemen are Manohar Lal, Sukhdev Singh and Manpreet Singh.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, along with Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar, visited the spot Tuesday. Speaking to the media, the CM announced a probe to be headed by divisional commissioner of Patiala and said “responsibility will be fixed”.
“Patiala divisional commissioner will be conducting an inquiry into the incident. It has been a horrifying incident in which we have lost so many precious lives. Responsibility will be fixed and all aspects will be covered, including violations by the owner in storing chemicals. Any violation of law in the construction of building will also identified,” said the CM.
He also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh and a government job each for the families of the deceased fire department men and a sanitary inspector to be contributed equally by state government and Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. He announced Rs 2 lakh each for families of civilians killed. Free treatment for the injured undergoing treatment at the hospitals was also announced.
The CM said the government had already started work on revamp of fire brigade department in the state with 69 fire brigade vehicles already purchased and 27 more in the pipeline. He said the new Fire Safety Prevention Law will also be ready by December this year.
Meanwhile, Ludhiana deputy commissioner Pardeep Aggarwal said the rescue operation at the site would continue till three firemen still missing were not found. “We cannot rule out the possibility of more bodies under debris, but three firemen are missing and have been identified. We are not losing hope and work will continue at the site,” he said.