The death toll in the Amraiwadi building collapse in Ahmedabad rose to five on Friday as police and fire safety officials rushed to locate and rescue survivors from the debris.
At least eight persons have been rescued with minor injuries and five declared dead in the building collapse which occurred around 2 pm Thursday in Banglawali Chali society near Amraiwadi Torrent House in Amraiwadi area of Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, a part of another three storey building in Dariapur collapsed on Friday; five were rescued from the site. According to the police, the incident occurred as the building was in a dilapidated state.
“No one has been hurt in the accident as only a part of the front side of a building collapsed. We have asked residents in two of the nearby buildings to vacate their houses as well. We rescued five persons from the dilapidated building,” said a police officer.
Ahmedabad has been facing incessant rains since Thursday evening, hampering rescue efforts.
“After we took out 11 persons among whom, three were declared dead, two more bodies were retrieved from the debris late last night. It is unclear how many more survivors are present. Our search and rescue operation is going on,” said RD Udavat, station in-charge, Amraiwadi police station.
As many as 20 firefighting vehicles were rushed to the Amraiwadi spot for rescue operations.
The three deceased were identified as Vimla Suri (75), Asha Ben (36) and Jaydev Suri (85), all inhabitants of the building. Those who were injured included a one-and-a-half-year-old girl and an eight-year-old girl.
A fire brigade officer told The Indian Express that overbearing presence of bystanders is causing a lot of problems for the rescue teams. “Many bystanders are climbing the debris which is a risk for those trapped. Also, the officers are trying to listen to any sound of help made by the trapped persons, but the crowd is making it difficult,” the official said.
J S Prajapati, Deputy Commissioner who also holds the estate portfolio in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, said, “The building was nearly 70 years old. We had not received any complaint against it and hence no notice was issued by the AMC. The building looked fairly well maintained from the outside.”
Mukesh Patel, in-charge deputy estate officer of east zone, said, “Though the building looked well-maintained from outside, it wasn’t taken care of from the inside. There were wooden structures which were covered with mud. The building collapsed due to water seepage, ultimately breaking off the wooden support. Seven to eight families were living on rent in that building.”
“In light of this incident, we will be strictly inspecting the buildings in that area now,” Prajapati added.
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