Three persons were killed when a three-storey building in Bawamanpura area of Gujarat’s Vadodara city collapsed in the early hours of Tuesday, trapping them under the debris. Another person who was also trapped under the debris was rescued.
Vadodara Fire and Emergency Services Department (VFES) pulled out the trapped persons after a three-hour-long operation and rushed the injured to SSG Hospital in Vadodara.
The three deceased persons were construction workers, who were staying in the building to execute the renovation and restructuring work. They have been identified as residents of Banswada in Rajasthan — Ritu Patel (19), Vakita Kamlesh Patel (28) and Pradeep Patel (18). The rescued person was Kamlesh (30), Vakita’s husband.
According to local residents, the building was originally at least three-decades-old and was undergoing a renovation. A team of 30 fire officers rushed to the spot after receiving a call at around 1 am.
Parth Brahmabhatt, Chief Fire Officer of Vadodara, said, “The four persons were trapped under the slab and the operation went on for almost three hours where we had to use our technical expertise to lift up the slab to pull them out. All the injured were shifted to the SSG Hospital and one of them has survived. He told us that there were only four people inside the building as against locals claiming that there could have been more people. All the victims were masons.”
An eye witness said, “We heard a loud noise like a crash. When we came to our window we could not see anything through the dust that had engulfed the road. We realised that the building had collapsed and most of us were wondering if it was a quake. Some locals had rushed to see if anyone could be pulled out from there. In a matter of minutes, after hearing the sirens of the fire tenders and the ambulance, almost everyone was on the road.”
Several vehicles parked along the building were crushed due to the collapse. The building, local residents said, was being reconstructed by the owner to have a commercial shop on the ground floor and a three-storey residential space.
The construction work was going on for the past six months after its owner hired a local building contractor to reconstruct the structure. The city police booked a case of accidental death and is on the look out for the contractor and the owner.
Meanwhile, the family members of the deceased persons have demanded compensation from the contractor and refused to accept the three bodies until the contractor promises them compensation, police said.
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