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Lack of coordination delays rescue

Rajeev Bhaskar, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, April 17, 2012
First Published: 12:10 IST(17/4/2012) | Last Updated: 12:12 IST(17/4/2012)

Lack of coordination between various rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), army, district administration, police and fire brigade delayed rescue operations.

The head of the NDRF team, Ravinder Singh, was seen urging administration officials to provide his men with big gas-cutters, earlier in the day.

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"Although we have gas-cutters, they are not suitable to cut the thick iron rods. Unless big gas-cutters are provided to us, we will be unable to intensify the rescue operation," he told HT. 
Rescue operations began in full flow only around 12 noon.

There was a question mark on the number of victims trapped, as well. Factory owner Sheetal Vij did not provide the figure of how many workers were present in the building on Sunday night.

"We have not been informed about the exact number by the owner, who earlier claimed the presence of only 30 to 40 people," said deputy commissioner Priyank Bharti. "But 55 persons have already been evacuated, which creates doubts on the exact number of trapped persons."

Volunteers of the Dera Sacha Sauda pitched in with the rescue work. "So far 57 persons have been evacuated in the joint rescue operation by NDRF, army and CRPF," principal secretary to the CM SK Sandhu said.

'SLOW' RESCUE WORK
Labourers and families of the victims raised slogans against the administration at the site of the building collapse. They complained that rescue work was slow and wanted officials to allow them to remove the debris.

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