Six people were buried alive and four critically injured after a liquor shop collapsed near the transport area in Sector 26, Chandigarh, on Monday.
The incident took place when construction workers in an adjoining plot were digging a basement illegally, triggering the wall of the liquor store to cave in.
The critically injured have been admitted to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
The police said 17 people, including 12 labourers and five customers, suffered multiple injuries of whom 11 were rushed to the PGIMER Trauma Centre and the rest to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, and Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16.
The police said six people were declared brought dead at the PGIMER. The deceased were identified as Bahaduri (26), a resident of Mauli Jagran, Suraj Bhan (36), Ifkhar (35) and Ashok Kumar (30), all residents of Bapu Dham Colony, Vishnu (25) of Sector 26 and Prabhu, a native of Gopalganj in Bihar who was residing in Phase 2, SAS Nagar.
The police said 18 PCR vehicles and ambulances were pressed into service for rescue operation. Teams of disaster management, fire brigade and the army also helped in rescue operations, said officials.
Meanwhile, people were seen taking away liquor bottles from the spot.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Eyewitness say labourers had dug deeper than required in the adjacent plot due to which the wall of the liquor shop collapsed. Owner of the liquor vend Gurdeep Singh Walia told HT that a bay shop was to be constructed on the plot. He alleged it was illegal to construct a basement in a bay shop and . He added: “Jeevan Jindal of Panchkula, who is owner of the bay shop, was carrying out the construction work against norms.”
Jindal could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
Ram Lal, an eyewitness said: “Around11.30 when I was loading my truck in a nearby market, I heard a loud noise and saw people screaming and running for life. Local cranes were used to clear the debris to rescue the victims before the municipal corporation team reached the spot.”
The PCR was informed and the fire officials were alerted immediately after the incident. Hundreds of cops and firemen with the help of the locals rescued those buried under the debris. The rescue operation lasted for around five hours.
Senior police officials, including inspector general of police RP Upadhayay visited the spot. However, no officials from the UT administration showed up.