A four-storey building under construction in the Shalimar Garden extension area here collapsed on Saturday afternoon, killing two persons, including a woman, and injuring at least 15 — mostly labourers from UP and Bihar.
The police and district administration officials expect the toll to rise farther as at least 40 labourers were present at the site when the structure collapsed. The rescue operation will continue for another 24 hours.
Soon after the incident, a police team and rescue workers were rushed to the spot, besides six bulldozers and cranes being deployed.
By 6pm, personnel from the nearby air force base at Hindon and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police camp were called in as the local administration did not have the equipment to cut through the rubble to rescue the trapped labourers.
District magistrate Shashi Bhushan Lal told HT that the reason for the crash was the use of inferior quality building materials. “We are going to take stringent actions as we suspect that the builders did not even have proper layout plans for the building.”
While around 90% of the building, spread over 860.63 square meters, collapsed, experts suspect the rest will also come down soon. The crash also caused considerable damage to the neighbouring Texla Estate Oriental Apartments, located around 12 feet away.
Police officials said the developer of the building, Maitrey Tiwari, managing director of Kranti Associates, was a resident of the Laxmi Nagar area of Delhi.
Senior superintendent of police Raghubir Lal said, “We have sent teams to nab her and raids are underway at her residence and offices. Our priority at the moment, however, is to rescue the trapped workers.”