Adjacent building work blamed; contractor, workers arrested | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Adjacent building work blamed; contractor, workers arrested

punjab Updated: Apr 22, 2012 20:50 IST
HT Correspondent
jalandhar building collapse


The city police have arrested three more persons in connection with the collapse of the factory building last Sunday that resulted in death of at least 23 workers.

"We have arrested Ram Singh, who is the contractor of the adjacent under-construction building, and his assistant Hans Raj, both from Santokhpura area, besides Jagdish from Pathankot. Jagdish operated the JCB machine engaged in digging of foundation for the building adjacent to the collapsed structure," additional deputy commissioner of police, headquarters, Navjot Mahal said here at press conference on Sunday.

The arrests were made on Saturday and all three have been booked under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). They have also been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act, police said.

As per the police, officials of the civil administration apprehended that pits dug for constructing pillars for the adjacent building, and the digging being done for its foundation, were the probable reasons for collapse of the factory building. "As the building collapsed towards the side of the under-construction building, the theory makes more sense," an officer said.

Mahal told the media that a team of professors from the PEC University of Technology in Chandigarh had inspected the site on Saturday, "and they too listed the adjacent building's construction work as a probable reason behind the collapse".

Sources said Shital Vij, owner of the blanket-manufacturing unit of Shital Fibres that collapsed, named the three men during his interrogation in police custody. It was on Vij's cue on Saturday that Swarn Singh, contractor of the now-collapsed building, had been arrested. The factory building had been constructed in 2006.

Police are still awaiting results of the forensic examination of debris samples collected from the site of the collapse.