At least four labourers were killed when the retaining wall of the basement of an under-construction building collapsed on them in Civil Lines area of Jalandhar city on Saturday.
The victims were digging for the construction of another pillar of the building, district administration officials said.
They were buried under a section of the wall that fell and loose earth came down with it on them.
The building was being constructed for flats by a private builder.
District authorities had to seek the help of the Army after the local police and fire brigade personnel could do little to rescue the victims.
The deputy commissioner ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.