Four dead, five injured as lift collapses at construction site in Greater Noida West

Sep 16, 2023 12:04 AM IST

Late Friday evening, NBCC announced a compensation of ₹20 lakh for the kin of each deceased worker, and said it will bear the full medical expenses of the injured persons

Four daily wagers were killed, and at least five others critically injured after a service lift malfunctioned and collapsed at the construction site of a high-rise building in Greater Noida West on Friday morning, Noida police said.

The incident took place around 8.30am at the construction site of Amrapali Dream Valley Society (Phase-2) in Techzone-4, said police. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)
The incident took place around 8.30am at the construction site of Amrapali Dream Valley Society (Phase-2) in Techzone-4, said police. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

The incident took place around 8.30am at the construction site of Amrapali Dream Valley Society (Phase-2) in Techzone-4, said police.

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The much stalled project is being constructed and developed by the NBCC India which had further hired a construction firm to complete the project, which has approximately 9,000 flats.

The police have booked nine people in the matter, including officials of NBCC, the construction company and lift company, among others.Sixteen people are being questioned in the matter, though no arrest has been made so far, police said.

Late Friday evening, NBCC announced a compensation of 20 lakh for the kin of each deceased worker, and said it will bear the full medical expenses of the injured persons.

Supreme Court appointed court receiver of Amrapali projects, R Venkataramani, said he has approved a compensation of 5 lakh for the kin of each dead worker.

“We are saddened by this tragic incident that should not have happened. We have issued instructions to the NBCC to take preventive steps so that such incidents are not repeated. We have directed the NBCC to follow all laid down rules to ensure the safety of workers,” said Venkataramani

“Since it was raining in the morning, the construction work was halted, but work on tiles and PoP [plaster of Paris] was to be done. Around 8.30am, eight workers took the passenger lift from the ground floor to go to the 20th floor of F-10 tower, along with one lift operator. However, when it reached the 14th floor, the lift got stuck and then went into a free fall,” said Veer Malik, the project engineer.

Nearby workers rescued the nine people in the lift, while the police were informed by labour supervisor Abdul Rashid.

“Police teams rushed \all nine passengers to the district hospital in Sector 30. While four workers were declared dead by doctors, five were admitted for treatment,” said police commissioner Laxmi Singh, who inspected the spot with senior officers. The bodies were sent for an autopsy, she said.

The deceased workers were identified as Ishtaq Ali (23) from Balrampur, Bihar, Arun Tanti Mandal (40) from Banka, Bihar, Vipot Mandal (45) from Katihar, Bihar, and Aris Khan (22) from Amroha, Uttar Pradesh.

Those injured were identified as Asul Mustaqeem, Abdul Mustaqeem, Kuldeep Pal, Kaif, Arbaaz Ali -- all hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, police said, adding that Kuldeep Pal was the lift operator.

“The five injured workers are on ventilator support in the intensive care unit and are under observation for the next 24 hours. Their condition is very critical,” said Dr Renu Aggarwal, chief medical superintendent, district hospital.

“An FIR has been registered at the Bisrakh police station against nine people, including two officials of NBCC, three of the construction company, and two of the lift company, besides two site supervisors. The suspects have been booked under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 337 (injury due to negligence), 338 (grievous hurt due to negligence), 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, and relevant sections of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act,” said Suniti, deputy commissioner of police (Central Noida).

“The site office of the construction company was found locked and the officials absent; their mobile numbers came as switched off. The NBCC site office was also found empty and locked. Police teams have been deployed to nab the suspects,” said the DCP.

Commissioner Singh said all construction workers at the site have been asked to vacate the site in view of the security risk and for the sake of investigation.

“A preliminary inspection of the spot has found that no safety protocols were being followed by the construction firm. Neither were the construction workers wearing any security harness, nor were any safety nets deployed at the site. Further, investigation is being carried out at the site by a team of forensic and technical experts to gather evidence. Hence, construction workers have been asked to vacate the site,” said Singh, adding that the contractors have been instructed by police to clear the workers’ payments immediately.

There are around 6,000 construction workers employed at the site, police said.

Around 2pm, additional police force and PAC personnel arrived at the society to carry out the evacuation of workers and their families.

However, construction workers registered their dissent against the sudden orders to vacate the site.

“Our homes are hundreds of kilometres away and we have been staying at the construction site since we started working here. We cannot just pack our bags and leave; our payments are pending with the contractor and we have women and children with us,” said a worker, who did not wish to be named.

District magistrate Manish Verma, who visited the site and the hospital, said compensation will be provided to the victims.“Action will be taken against anyone found guilty. We will recommend financial compensation for the victims as per the law and guidelines of the labour code. The matter is under investigation,” said the DM.

\Greater Noida authority chief executive officer NG Ravi Kumar also visited the site and directed officials to carry out inspections and surveys of all construction sites in Greater Noida.

Greater Noida additional CEO Amandeep Duli said, “We are investigating the incident to ascertain how it transpired, on the basis of which liability will be fixed. Nonetheless, we are carrying out an inspection and survey of all construction sites in Greater Noida to check whether all safety standards are being followed or not.”

“In case a site is found not following safety standards, that site will be sealed. Apart from that, a seminar will be held by the authority for developers to educate them on safety protocols,” he said.

When asked whether any inspection was done earlier by the Greater Noida authority at the construction site, he said, “Inspections to check safety standards have not been conducted at the site so far. There are around 60 large construction projects in Greater Noida,” he said.

When reached out by HT, Rakesh Garg, executive engineer of NBCC (India) Limited refused comment on the matter.

Officials of the construction company and the lift company could not be immediately contacted for their response.

In July 2019, the Supreme Court had appointed the NBCC to complete stalled/incomplete projects of Amrapali Group in Noida and Greater Noida. The NBCC took over the Amrapali Dream Valley Phase-2 project on October 10, 2020, and is scheduled to deliver the project to buyers by May 2024, as per the information on the NBCC website.

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    Ashni Dhaor is a correspondent with Hindustan Times. She covers crime, education, health, politics, civic issues and environment in Ghaziabad city. She graduated from Delhi University in 2015 and has since been working with Hindustan Times since.

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