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Residents evacuated day before Ahmedabad building collapse, but some returned: Officials

One person was killed, and nine others were rescued from the debris of the Ahmedabad building that collapsed in Gujarat. The rescue operations were wrapped up on Monday morning.

india Updated: Aug 27, 2018 11:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad building collapse,Ahmedabad,Gujarat building collapse
The rescue operation, conducted jointly by NDRF officials, fire personnel and police officers, was wrapped up around 9.30 am.(PTI Photo)

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation officials had reportedly evacuated those residing in two wobbly blocks of a four-storey government building in Odhav locality on Saturday, but a few returned in the hours that followed. Consequently, nearly ten people were buried under the rubble when the Ahmedabad building collapsed on a rainy Sunday.

While nine were rescued from the debris by Monday morning, a person was declared dead. The rescue operation was wrapped up around 9.30 am.

“Block numbers 23 and 24 of the 18-year-old government structure for the economically weaker section were declared unsafe on Saturday, and the occupants were asked to vacate all the floors,” Odhav ward councillor Bharat Patel said. “However, some of them returned on Sunday evening when it was raining.”

Municipal commissioner Vijay Nehra made a similar claim. “Around 150 occupants of the two blocks were evacuated on Saturday. Some of them returned on Sunday for some unknown reasons,” he said. The two ill-fated blocks comprised 32 living quarters.

While 60 fire brigade personnel were initially sent for rescue operations, they were later joined by National Disaster Response Force teams from Gandhinagar. “Police teams are also assisting in the rescue operation. Saving lives is our top priority at the moment,” said joint commissioner of police Ashok Yadav.

However, a few residents have rejected the administration’s claim that the evacuation notices were issued on Saturday. “We were asked to move out only around 4 pm on Sunday. The building collapsed around 9 pm, before all of us could vacate our dwellings,” said Pravin Sikotia, a resident.

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 10:41 IST