Death toll of the Jalandhar building collapse rose to 23 today even as the rescue operation continued in search of two feared trapped underneath the debris.
The two dead bodies recovered today belonged to Chandravati and Patlu Rai who have been patiently waiting at the site where the rescue operation has been in full swing since Monday morning.
Seeing the badly decomposed body of Bhagwan Das (38), Chandravati was inconsolable and the heart wrenching scene moved the onlookers to tears.
Half an hour later a dead body, which was identified as that of Mintu (20) by his grandfather Patlu Rai (80) was recovered.
NDRF personnel let the shattered Rai climb the ambulance to accompany Mintu's dead body to civil hospital.
On the other hand, kin of Ajit Choudhary and Radhey Mohan, who are still feared trapped under the debris were seen running from pillar to post to enquire about the status of their missing wards.
Kirshor Choudhary, brother of Ajit said that his brother rang him up a few years ago and said that he would visit him soon but sadly the news of him being trapped underneath the debris greeted him before that.
Heera Chand, brother-in-law of Radhey Mohan said that Radhey was a supportive and cheerful person who was the only bread winner of his family.
There is little chance of any survivors under the debris so the operation could gather pace now. Commandant of National Disaster Response Force, NDRF, RK Verma said that with the possibility of any survivors being dim rescue operation can pick up pace and we have pressed more heavy machinery including excavators, cranes, JCBs into service.
Asked, how much time the rescue operation would take to be completed, Commandant said the operation would go on until they are absolutely sure of not finding any more survivors in the rubble.
So far, more than 60% of the debris has been cleared and it would take another couple of days before he could give a certificate of completion of search and rescue operation, Commandant Verma said.
"Although we haven't spotted another dead body the combing operation would still go on as somebody could have been trapped under the heavy machinery on the ground floor", he said adding that wire cameras were inserted into debris to check for corpses.
List of the 23 deceased
1. Sharu Jaidev (24)
2. Mukesh (22)
3. Prabhakar (20)
4. Shiv Shankar Mehto (19)
5. Prasanjit (25)
6. Ajit Kumar(21)
7. Bapi Rai (20)
8. Mukesh Kumar (30)
9. Ram Kesri (23)
10. Jai Parkash (25)
11. Monu Yadav (20)
12. Ajay (22)
13. Santosh Kumar (20)
14. Santoo (19)
15. Pankaj Kumar (19)
16. Arvind Mandar (20)
17. Rahul (22)
18. Surinder Ram (35)
19. Vinod Kumar Rai (24)
20. Pramod Kumar (20)
21. Babloo (19)
22. Mintoo (20)
23. Bhagwan Das (38)