Greater Noida, July 18 (IANS) At least three bodies were retrieved on Wednesday from the debris of two residential buildings that collapsed on Tuesday evening in a village in Greater Noida — one of the fast-developing real estate hubs on the outskirts of Delhi.
At least 50 people were believed trapped under the concrete rubble of the buildings, one of which was under construction and other was ready and some of the families had already moved in to live, officials and neighbours said.
The collapse in Shahberi village took place between 8.30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Tuesday, apparently due to “too much moisture in the walls of the basement and poor construction material used” in the buildings, an official told IANS.
Four persons, including the builder Ganga Prasad Dwivedi, have been taken into custody, Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General of Police (Meerut Zone) Prashant Kumar told IANS.
“The four are being questioned and steps will be taken based on the information they give,” he said.
The number of those trapped was still being confirmed as there is no record of the number of labourers living in and around the buildings.
Several buildings are under construction and labourers live in half-constructed structures in the area where multi-storey shopping and residential complexes in a ubiquitous sight.
Four teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) pulled out the three bodies from the rubble.
“The mobile NDRF team reached the spot as soon as we got the the information. Three more teams were deployed later,” NDRF Director General Sanjay Kumar told IANS.
“The spot is difficult to reach due to narrow roads. But we are trying our best,” Sanjay Kumar said, in response to complaints from the residents that the rescue was slow.
The incident took place when an under construction building fall on a 4-storey building in which a family of four, including a one-year-old girl, were living.
District Magistrate B.N. Singh, Superintendent of Police (Rural) Ashish Srivastava along with policemen from six police stations and NDRF teams requisitioned from Ghaziabad have been at the disaster site since Tuesday night.
The rescue operations were hampered at night due to poor visibility.
Rescue dogs, two hydraulic cranes and six bulldozers have been pressed into service to rescue the people trapped inside the debris.
Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate Brajesh Narayan Singh has ordered a magisterial probe by Additional District Magistrate Kumar Vineet. He has been asked to submit his report within 15 days.
The probe will also check if the two buildings fall in the notified area of the Greater Noida Authority and in case it does, whether a no-objection certificate (NoC) was procured as per relevant clearances required before the construction began.
An official told IANS that both the building had been built illegally and construction work on one had been completed after which a dozen families had shifted in it.