At least seven people, most of them labourers, were killed and more than 30 injured when an under-construction building in Kanpur’s Jajmau area collapsed on Wednesday, officials said.
Three people were rescued from the debris and rushed to the Kanshi Ram Memorial Trauma Centre for treatment. Doctors said they were in critical condition.
Kanpur’s deputy inspector general of police Rajesh Modak said the number of dead and injured may rise.
The incident took place at the Kanpur Development Authority colony in the afternoon, when top floors of the seven-storey under-construction building started falling, Modak said.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh said he spoke to senior officials about the incident. “Spoke to DG NDRF regarding the news of an under construction building collapse in Kanpur. Two teams are rushing to the spot for rescue ops,” the minister tweeted.
Spoke to DG NDRF regarding the news of an under construction building collapse in Kanpur. Two teams are rushing to the spot for rescue ops— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) February 1, 2017
“I offer my condolences to those who lost their loved ones in Kanpur building collapse. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he said in a second tweet.
Army personnel were assisting the civil defence and policemen engaged in the rescue operation.
“Army and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been called to assist in the rescue operation,” said Kanpur district magistrate Kaushal Raj.
The building, adjacent to the famous Allah-o-Akbar Masjid, was being constructed for the last one year. It is part of a housing project of former district Samajwadi Party president Mehtab Alam.
A weak foundation is said to be the possible reason behind the building collapse.
Eyewitnesses said they were watching the budget proceedings when they heard a loud noise. “Nothing was visible because of dust around,” said Taj Hussain, who lives close to the site.
“The workers hired for construction were living on different floors of the structure. They were at least 40 in number,” Hussain added.
Initially, locals tried to clear the debris to pull out people but failed. Earth-moving machines on the Kanpur-Lucknow highway were then called in to help in rescue operations.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)