Death toll rises to 21 | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Death toll rises to 21

The death toll in the Jalandhar factory disaster rose to 21 on Saturday. Seven bodies were extricated during the overnight operation, while two were brought out of the debris on Saturday.

punjab Updated: Apr 22, 2012 12:50 IST
Rajeev Bhaskar

The death toll in the Jalandhar factory disaster rose to 21 on Saturday. Seven bodies were extricated during the overnight operation, while two were brought out of the debris on Saturday.

One body was identified as that of factory worker Vinod by his brother, Sanjiv. Chandravati, whose husband Bhagwan Das is feared trapped under the debris, was seen enquiring from the rescue team. Deputy commissioner Priyank Bharti instructed medical teams to take her to the civil hospital, where the bodies are kept, so that she could confirm or deny whether her husband was among the deceased.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) commandant RK Verma said heavy machinery, including excavators, cranes, ditch machines and gas gutters, were being used to clear the debris.

"We have removed all bodies spotted so far. Now, the rest of the area will also be searched through wire cameras and on-the-spot inspection to find whether there is any other body under the debris," Verma said.

"Our job is not to clear the debris but to rescue trapped persons or remove bodies," he clarified.
The debris clearance process has been initiated from the entire area of the collapsed building by teams of the NDRF and the army.

Meanwhile, a team of Punjab Engineering College (PEC) led by Prof ND Devgun visited the spot and initiated an inquiry to find out the reason(s) for the building collapse.

Photographs of collapsed pillars and the debris were taken by the PEC team. Asked about the prima facie findings, a team member said, "It is too early to pinpoint the exact reason(s) for the collapse, but it is apparent that the building's structure was flawed, due to which it fell like pack of cards."