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Workers were repairing cracks in Ghaziabad building when it crashed

NDRF rescued eight persons alive from the building debris of the Ghaziabad building that collapsed on Sunday afternoon while one body was also brought out.

noida Updated: Jul 23, 2018 09:33 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
Ghaziabad,Ghaziabad building collapse,Ghaziabad Police
National Disaster Response Force seen carrying out rescue operation after an under-construction building collapsed in Ghaziabad, killing at least one person at Akash Nagar on Sunday, July 22, 2018. (Sakib Ali/ HT Photo )

Hours after an under-construction building collapsed at Akash Nagar in Ghaziabad on Sunday, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said they have rescued eight persons alive from the debris since morning, while one boy remained trapped until Sunday night.

They also brought out one body. Among those rescued were men, women, and children of an extended family who had arrived in Ghaziabad from Damoh in Madhya Pradesh to work at construction sites.

Thirty-year-old Raj Kumar – one of the eight to be rescued – was working on the second floor of the five-storey building when the structure suddenly came crashing. Kumar said, “I was repairing the columns of the structure that had developed cracks. Our contractor had asked us to complete the repair work fast. My wife Geeta was on the ground floor at the time of the incident. When I sunk inside the debris, I tried to scream for help but my voice got choked due to the intense pain caused by suffocation and my injuries.”

“I had almost lost consciousness. I could hardly move and my body had lost all energy as I lay trapped inside the rubble, ” Kumar said.

Raees, one of the first responders to the incident, also got trapped beneath the rubble.

The rescued labourers said they had been hired for Rs 300 for each day of work. However, the contractor had not paid them anything in July, they said.

Kumar’s uncle, 40-year-old Munnalal, who was working on the fourth floor of the building, too had a narrow escape.

Munnalal said, “The contractor had asked us to finish lunch and complete the repair work. He was aware that the cracks in the building could harm the building due to the very rains over the past two days.”

Officials from the Public Works Department said the building seemed to be constructed without proper portions of concrete, cement, iron bars and other building material.

“These problems probably led the weak building structure to crumble. A lot of water had also stagnated in the area due to the rains. This also aided in the collapse,” a PWD official said.

First Published: Jul 23, 2018 09:29 IST