The ongoing operation at the site of collapsed factory building in Focal Point area had its gory moments on Friday as human body parts like a severed head and limbs were recovered during the debris clearing process.
Even as the death toll remained static at 19 during the day, the rescue team failed to recover six bodies that were spotted buried under the debris on Thursday evening.
At about 2pm, the rescue operation was suspended after a severed head was found while a JCB machine was removing the debris, followed by recovery of upper and lower limbs. The operation was resumed after half an hour.
Colonel Simarjeet Singh, who is heading the army team involved in the rescue operation, revealed that some bodies were decomposed to such an extent that it was very difficult to bring them out intact.
"Rats have nibbled at the bodies, making it difficult to even recognise the dead," Col Singh said, adding that civil authorities were spraying chemicals on the debris to prevent bodies from decomposing, to drive away rats and to avoid foul smell in the area.
About the chances of finding someone alive under the debris, Col Singh said that there were "very dim chances" of survival of anyone though he had still not lost hope. Before removing debris from any new area, efforts were made to look for anyone still alive, he added.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) commandant RK Verma said that the rescue operation has now picked up pace. "So far, NDRF team has evacuated nine bodies and saved 12 persons trapped under the debris," he said, adding that data of both dead and survivors, including their photographs and names was maintained by the NDRF team for its record.
Even as the rescue operation was on, a migrant woman arrived at the spot in search of her husband Bhagwan Das (35), who was trapped under the debris.
"I live with my three children at Gorakhpur and my husband was on duty when the mishap took place," Chandravati said, adding that she had to borrow money to reach Jalandhar.
Meanwhile, several migrants were seen about the spot, with the hope of hearing any news on their near and dear ones trapped under the debris. As soon as they got to know about recovery of any body, they tried to get a glimpse to confirm its identity.