A four-storey under-construction building collapsed and toppled into an irrigation canal adjacent to the Kheput and Nischintipur villages under Daspur –II block in West Midnapore this morning.
Though no casualties have been reported so far, the district irrigation department has lodged a complaint against the owner of the house for illegally constructing a building on government land.
Ashim Pal, sub-divisional officer of Ghatal said, “The irrigation department had officially issued a notice to one Nimai Samanta, owner of the building on 19 May asking him to destroy the building as it was illegally constructed on government land. The building was too close to the Gomrai irrigation canal and encroached on government land.”
He said there were no casualties as the residents had vacated the structure after it began shaking while the canal was being dredged. The dredging work was going on in Gomrai canal for the last few weeks, and the foundation of the building that sat on its edge might have got damaged due to that.
According to an irrigation department official, cracks had started developing in the building a couple of days ago. Heavy monsoon rain yesterday further affected the stability of the foundation, exposed by the canal excavation, the official added.
The official also said that the owner of the building used to have four shops on the ground floor of the building where he stored grocery and stationary goods. In the top two floors of the building, he stored construction materials. As a result two of its top floors were detached from the rest of the building when it collapsed, the official told The Statesman.
Dramatic visuals on social media showed the building collapsing like a house of cards into a canal. The building, first, leans to its front and collapses into the canal amid cries of scared people. A cloud of dust is seen moments later.
Ashis Pan, who lives nearby Nischintipur village, said, “The sight of the building collapse is terrifying. We will remember it for a long time. Nimai Samanta was making this building for business purposes. We haven’t seen him