Ten people,including one child and two women,were killed and 11 others injured when an under-construction building collapsed in Saidutt Nagar area (Tajlai Pathar) of Dhankawadi around 2 pm on Monday.
Other than the child,all other victims are construction labourers. Police said one person is feared trapped under the debris. Pune Municipal Corporation spokesperson said the building was illegal as did not have authorisation.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone II) Ramnath Pokale said till late evening 10 bodies were taken out and injured were admitted to various hospitals. He said,A criminal offence has been registered at the Sahakarnagar police station against Sanjay Nande and Lahoo Sawant under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder),337 and 338 of the IPC. Nande and Sawant were jointly constructing the collapsed building. No one has yet been arrested,but both of them will be arrested. Statements of civic officials are also being recorded. He said rescue work by NDRF and Fire Brigade was on till night.
PMC fire brigade chief Prashant Ranpise said they rescued 16 persons from the debris. Of the 11 injured,six are serious. The injured include four women,four children and three men. While PMC said it was a three-storey building,a local corporator said construction of the fifth floor was under way.
After nearly three-hour search operation,PMC fire brigade officials pulled out two children (aged 5,7 years). Two of them Namrata Kamble and Sayali Kamble are sisters. Their elder sister Naina (12) is still trapped under the debris,police said.
The three along with their parents were staying in one room which was given to the family on rent by the builder. The children had returned home from school around 1 pm and were apparently having lunch when the building caved in all of a sudden.
Labourer contractor Chandrakant Rathod said,I had sent seven labourers to the builder. Six men were from Hyderabad and a woman was from Chhattisgarh. At the time of the collapse,they were taking their lunch in the parking area on the ground floor.
Eyewitnesses said the building collapsed in a matter of seconds. I think it came down in barely three seconds, said Sagar Bhise (20) who stays right in front of the collapsed structure. Manjula Nanekar,another eyewitness,said she was serving lunch to her children at her house when the building collapsed with a thud. Incidentally,she said,just 5-10 minutes before the building caved in,labourers had come to her asking for water. They did this every day. Today too they came asking for water. Probably,it is their lunch time. Two women had also come for water, Nanekar said. Residents of the area said the construction work was going on for two months.
PMC serves notice on builders,under fire for inaction against illegal building
The Mahesh Pathak-led PMC administration said it had served notice on former corporator Sanjay Nande and Lahoo Sawant who were apparently jointly constructing the collapsed building.
The PMC had served a notice on the builders on September 1,stating that it was illegal. The administration was all set to take action against them,but the civic staff had to be shifted for the Ganesh festival, said Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak. He along with the city engineer Prashat Waghmare,additional city engineer Vivek Kharwadkar,deputy municipal commissioner Ramesh Shelar and Mayor Vaishali Bankar were stationed at the spot during the entire rescue operation.
Pathak said the incident took place before the civic administration could pull it down. The land where the building was constructed comes in low water zone and is applicable to 0.33 FSI. Without taking the requisite permission,the developer had constructed parking plus three floors of the building, according to a PMC statement. It said residents had informed that the RCC structure of the building was ready and wall was being constructed. Nande,who was an independent corporator and had extended support to Congress in the previous term,said he had no role in the construction of the building.
The PMC has served notices to at least 2,500 illegal structures in the city and had pulled down 800 so far, Pathak said,adding that the drive to demolish illegal constructions would be intensified.
The PMC was also filing a police complaint against the owner of the land,developer and contractor of the building that collapsed.
The PMC cancelled Shaniwarwada festival as soon as we got to know about the tragedy, said Mayor Bankar.
Local NCP corporator Shivlal Bhosale said a couple of months ago he had alerted the PMC about the illegal constructions,but no action was taken. There is a need for aggressive action against illegal constructions, said MP Supriya Sule. MP Suresh Kalmadi and BJP legislator Bhimrao Tapkir visited the site and consoled victims relatives.