Three people, including a contractor and two-sub-contractors, have been arrested after seven labourers were killed and one critically injured when an elevator of an under-construction building collapsed in the Panjra Pol area of Ahmedabad Wednesday.
The accident is said to have happened at around 9:00 am Wednesday when the centring of a terrace of the under-construction Adore Aspire 2 building collapsed on the labourers working in the elevator duct.
“It was reported that the labourers fell in the basement. Six of them—Jagdish Naik (21), Sanjay Babubhai Naik (20), Ashwin Naik (20), Sanjay Mangabhai Naik (24), Shailesh Naik (20) and Mukesh Naik (25)—were working on a plank. So, when the centring of the terrace collapsed, they fell into the basement. The other two—Rajmal Kharadi (25) and Pankaj Kharadi (21)—who were working at the open side of the sixth floor also fell due to the collapse of the centring,” stated a release from the police. “They were taken out by the other labourers working at the site and were rushed to hospitals by 108 emergency services,” said Om Jadeja, Divisional Fire Officer at Ahmedabad.
#Breaking | Seven labourers killed, one injured as under-construction building’s elevator crashes in Ahmedabad
(Express/Nirmal Harindran) pic.twitter.com/GKfIrzCm0y
According to him, three labourers—Rajmal Kharadi , Sanjay Mangabhai Naik and Shailesh Naik—were brought dead to VS General Hospital, while the other four were taken to the Sola Civil Hospital. Of the four, Ashwin Naik, Sanjay Babubhai Naik, Jagdish Naik and Mukesh Naik have been declared dead, while Pankaj Kharadi is in a critical condition.
“Jagdish, Sanjay Mangabhai, Shailesh and Mukesh belonged to the Panchmahal district, while Sanjay Babu and Ashwin were from Dahod. Rajmal and Pankaj were from Banswara district of Rajasthan,” stated the press note.
It further said that contractor Saurabh Shah, and Dinesh Prajapati and Nimesh Patel—both sub-contractors—have been arrested under IPC Section 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and Section 114 (abettor present when offence is committed). “No safety nets or any other safety measures were used for the labourers working in the elevator passage/duct. Severe negligence and dishonesty was shown knowing that there is risk to the life of labourers,” the release stated.
“The investigation is still going on at the site. We just know that the centring at the terrace of the thirteen-storeyed building broke and fell on these labourers who were above the elevator duct where they were working,” said VJ Jadeja, Investigation Officer at the Gujarat University Police Station.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to condole the accident. “The mishap at an under-construction building in Ahmedabad is saddening. Condolences to those who have lost their family members in this mishap. I hope the injured recover soon. The local authorities are providing all possible assistance to those affected,” PMO’s Twitter handle posted citing Modi.
Meanwhile, the authorities of the Fire and Emergency Services Department of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) claimed they received no communication or call. The incident is said to have happened at around 9:00 am Wednesday at the under-construction Adore Aspire 2. The fire and police team reached the spot at 1 pm.
Jayesh Khadia, chief fire officer, told mediapersons that no information was received about the incident. “We learnt about the incident from media reports and the phone calls received from media persons. Hence, I have reached the spot to check what has happened. There has been no official communication or information shared by the developers or any other agency,” Khadia said.
“I also work at a nearby construction site. My brother, Shailesh Naik, and neighbour Sanjay Mangabhai Naik are from Vav Kulli village in Ghoghamba taluka of Panchmahal district. I got to know about the incident around 10:30 am. We have been working at the site for the last 2 months,” said Suresh Naik.
Keshu Kalwa, brother-in-law of Pankaj Kharadi, said, “I got a call around 1:00 pm from Pankaj’s younger brother, who was working at another site nearby, to reach Sola Civil Hospital. He is critical. Pankaj belongs to Banswara village of Rajasthan. He has been working at the site for the last four months.”
AMC standing committee chairman Hitesh Barot said that it was a private building and hence, the construction plans and other approvals need to be inspected to inquire into the incident.
Meanwhile, Jayesh Patel, Secretary of Ahmedabad District Organising Committee of The Socialist Unity Center of India (Communist) [SUCI (C)], has written to Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel demanding strict punishment for those responsible, including the builder, structural engineer, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), and the officers who handled the construction permit of the building. In addition, the SUCI (C) demanded fair compensation to the families of the deceased, employment to a deserving family member and free treatment for the injured from the builder.