The death toll in the Dharwad building collapse rose to 11 as rescue operations crossed 48 hours on Thursday afternoon. More than 60 people have been rescued so far but officials fear that 10 are still trapped under the debris.
The under-construction building located in Kumareshwar Nagar fell on Tuesday afternoon trapping many in the rubble. Most of those trapped were labourers working at the site of construction.
Reports say that over 100 personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been pressed into the operation along with officials of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and State Fire and Emergency Services.
Locals were the first to respond to the incident. People were seen trying to reach those trapped under the detritus of the building soon after it collapsed.
A rescue operation was launched immediately on Tuesday with police officials from all nearby stations, 10 ambulances, 5 earthmovers and 20 fire officials were immediately rushed to the spot. It was subsequently strengthened with the NDRF and the SDRF personnel.
According to reports, though the building was under construction, some shops were operating from at least two floors. Eyewitnesses reportedly said that people were at the shops when the building collapsed.
According to The News Minute, a partial completion certificate had earlier been issued by the Hubbali-Dharwad Municipal Corporation to the owners of the building.
On Tuesday, police registered an FIR under Sections 304, 337 and 338 of the Indian Penal Code. A search was launched for five owners of the building, among whom is the Gangadhar Shintry, the father-in-law of former Congress Minister Vinay Kulkarni.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had on Tuesday asked the Chief Secretary to supervise the rescue operations.
“Shocked to learn about the collapse of an under-construction building in Dharwad. I have instructed the Chief Secretary to supervise rescue operations. I have also directed the CS to send additional resources and expert rescuers by a special flight to #Dharwad,” he said in a tweet.
“The rescue operation is on and five people have been extricated, so far, from the debris. I have instructed the concerned officials to be on location,” added the CM, who leads a JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state.