Sunday, 12 January 2014

Canacona building collapse: Toll rises to 29 as four more bodies recovered

The death toll at the site of the building collapse in Canacona rose to 29 on Saturday, with four decomposed bodies being retrieved.

Many persons are still missing and work is on in full swing to recover the bodies from the debris, said South Goa acting collector Venancio Furtado.

He said that the rescue teams on Saturday recovered four decomposed bodies and two of them were lying in the mud below the concrete structure.

At least, five more persons, most of them labourers and one local from Barcem, Quepem, have been declared missing. The group of villagers from Barcem, along with family members, visiting the recovery site from the day of the incident and the authorities believe they are trapped in the ground floor debris of the building.

According to the workers at the site, about six persons from Jharkhand and Karnataka are still missing along with a eight-months pregnant woman.

He further said all three directors of Bharat Realtors and Developers, Vishwas Desai (proprietor of Coastal Builders), Jaideep Saigal and Pradeep Singh Birring, accused for the collapse are still absconding and efforts are on to trace them.

The Ruby building collapse seems to have galvanized Patnem-Columb residents about the illegal excavation on the hill slope in their village near Mataji temple. The locals have urged the government to revoke the approval if any has been granted and also requested to check the materials, before final approval.

Speaking to TOI, PWD minister Ramkrishna 'Sudin' Dhavalikar said that rescue workers will continue till all bodies are recovered from the debris.

Fisheries minister Avertano Furtado and Sanguem MLA Subhash Fal Desai also visited the site on Saturday evening to take stock of the situation and remarked that this was one of the worst incidents which has occurred in Goa and the guilty should be severely punished.

Two bungalow-type apartments were partially demolished on Saturday.

Rescue work through drilling was stopped earlier this week after adjacent buildings began tilting precariously posing a threat of collapse, following which manual rescue operations were commenced, said former local MLA Vijay Pai Khot, who accompanied Dhavalikar.

Workers and their families stationed at the site said that they have been provided with sufficient food supplies by government authorities.

Residents under the banner of 'Chaudi Villagers' staged a candle-light procession on Friday night and Saturday as a mark of respect to the workers who were killed in the collapsed building under construction at Ruby residency at Chaudi, Canacona.

Sunday 12 January 2014

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