Updated: May 18, 2022 8:57:42 pm
At least 12 people, including three children, were killed and another one was injured after a section of a wall collapsed salt processing plant near Halvad town in Gujarat’s Morbi district Wednesday, police said.
According to police, the incident took place around noon at Sagar Chem Food Industries located in the estate of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) on the outskirts of Halvad on the Maliya-Viramgam state highway.
“A section of a wall around 15 to 20 feet high collapsed, trapping 13 workers under the debris. A rescue operation was launched soon but 12 workers died while another one sustained injuries,” KJ Mathukiya, a police inspector of Halvad, told The Indian Express.
The injured labourer is undergoing treatment in a hospital.
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“The factory used to stack sacks of salt alongside the wall and thus, the wall used to function as a retaining wall. According to primary information, the workers were bagging the salt when the wall collapsed. All 13 workers who were trapped have been pulled out and the rescue operation is over,” said Mathukiya.
Officials said the deceased include five men, four women and three children. They have been identified as Ramesh Narsinh Khirana, 45, Ramesh Megha Koli, 42, Sheetal Dilip, 32, Rajiben Dahyabhai Bharwad, 30, Raju Jeram Koli, 30, Dilabhai Ramesh, 26, Dilip Ramesh, 25, Kajal Ganas, 21, Daksha Ramesh Koli, 18, Deviben Dahyabhai, 14, Shyam Ramesh Koli, 13, and Dipak Dilip Somani, 5.
Morbi collector JB Patel said that the workers were originally from Kutch and were living in Halvad for work.
Expressing grief over the tragedy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “The tragedy in Morbi caused by a wall collapse is heart-rending. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Local authorities are providing all possible assistance to the affected.”
The Prime Minister’s Office also informed on Twitter that a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each will be given to the next of kin of the deceased from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. The injured would be given Rs 50,000 each, it added.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also took to Twitter to express grief over the tragedy. “The death of 12 people in an accident in Morbi, Gujarat is very sad. I have spoken to the Chief Minister @Bhupendrapbjp ji. The administration is busy in providing relief. The injured are being rushed to the hospital and they are being treated. I express my condolences to the bereaved families,” he tweeted in Hindi.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi posted on Facebook, “The news of the wall collapse at a factory in Halvad GIDC, Morbi, Gujarat is tragic. I extend my condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the injured. I hope the rescue operation manages to save maximum lives”.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel who visited Halvad with officials also announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each for the kin of the victims and gave instructions to the district administration about the rescue and relief work, said a statement by his office.
Halvad is located on the edge of the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK), the low-lying expanse of mudflats which is among the largest single-location salt-cultivation areas in the country.
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