The death toll in the building collapse incident on the Kumarhatti-Nahan highway in Solan district mounted to 14 after eleven more bodies were retrieved from the debris on Monday. The 14 dead included 13 Army personnel and one civilian.
Moreover, all the 42 people — 30 Army personnel and 12 civilians — who were trapped in the debris were pulled out after night-long rescue operations by the Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police, ANI reported.
However, Rohit Rathore, Solan Sub Divisional Magistrate, said the actual number of those trapped inside would be clear only after the rescue operation ends in the evening.
IN PICS | Building collapses in Solan
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who visited the spot on Monday morning, said prima facie the structure was not built up to the specifications. “A magisterial inquiry has already been ordered. Strict legal action will be taken against erring persons after getting the report,” PTI quoted Thakur as saying. An FIR was registered against the owner of the building, he said.
“There are more such buildings in the state. Owners have constructed them without following building by-laws. Whatever is required to be done, will be done to check it,” he said.
Director-cum-Special Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management DC Rana told PTI that two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams from Haryana’s Panchkula and Shimla’s Sunni reached the spot late in the night to carry out the rescue work. An NDRF team from Panchkula joined on Monday morning, he added.
Locals said soldiers of the 4 Assam regiment had come to the Sehaj Tandoori Dhaba, housed in the building, for a meal hosted by some JCOs. Sources at the Dharampur Police Station said 30 Army personnel and around a dozen others were inside the restaurant.
The building was owned by one Sahil, and initial reports said he was getting some extension work done on it. He had leased out a part of it for the restaurant. Both Sahil and the dhaba owner were not in the building at the time of the collapse.