Survivors pulled from rubble of India building

2014-06-30 11:06
Indian rescue workers carry a survivor pulled from the wreckage of a collapsed apartment building in Chennai. (File, AFP)

Indian rescue workers carry a survivor pulled from the wreckage of a collapsed apartment building in Chennai. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

New Delhi - Rescuers plucked two survivors from the ruins of a collapsed apartment block in southern India on Monday as they raced against the clock to find dozens more people feared trapped in the rubble.

The confirmed death toll from Saturday's disaster on the outskirts of Chennai rose to 18 as authorities blamed shoddy construction for what was the second deadly building collapse in India within a matter of hours.

Reports said that the two people rescued on Monday morning included a 35-year-old female construction worker who was one of several dozen entombed by a mass of concrete on Saturday night.

The woman had suffered a head injury, a hospital spokesperson told the Press Trust of India news agency. A male co-worker was also being treated in hospital.

Emergency teams used mechanical diggers and heavy-cutting equipment to try and find more survivors in the ruins of what was a partially-built 11-storey complex.

The exact number of people still missing is not known but reports say as many as 40 could be trapped in the rubble. Around 20 people have so far been rescued since the late night disaster.

Karuna Sagar, a senior officer with the Tamil Nadu state police force, said the rescue operation was being complicated by fears that the removal of debris could cause "the whole thing [to] collapse".

"There is all the possibility that there will be survivors, that is why we are going in a very systematic manner," he told the NDTV network.

"The rescue team is cutting open boulders and going in with oxygen and lights... There may be pockets where some person [is still] alive", he added from the site of the disaster.

Voices in the rubble

The exact number of people still trapped in the wreckage was not known but rescuers could still hear voices in the debris, TS Sridhar, commissioner of the disaster management agency, told NDTV's website.

Although there was some rain overnight, temperatures at the scene are around 40 degrees, and rescuers are worried that survivors could succumb to fatigue.

Police have detained at least five people for questioning, including the builder and engineers involved with construction, according to local newspaper reports.

Speaking on a visit to the scene of the disaster on Sunday night, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram said the collapse appeared to have been the result of poor construction.

"From investigations conducted by our senior officers, it appears that the building plans that were approved were not strictly adhered to by the builders," she told reporters.

"There was nothing wrong with the plans that were submitted for approval but the builders ... did not adhere to the plans that have been approved."

"It is too early to say exactly what went wrong but there appears to have been serious structural defects ... Tests have to be conducted to see whether the soil is suitable, whether the soil is capable of bearing such a huge weight."

The collapse in Tamil Nadu on Saturday came only hours after a dilapidated apartment block crumbled in the capital New Delhi, killing 10 people including five children.

Building collapses are common in India. Lax regulations and the demand for cheap housing mean contractors sometimes use substandard materials or add unauthorised extra floors.

In September last year more than 50 people were crushed to death when a five-storey building collapsed in India's financial capital of Mumbai on the west coast.
Read more on:    india
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Millwright

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Helderberg Personnel cc

MDW904 CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS SITE MANAGER

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Anchor Executive Recruitment (Pty) Ltd
R35 000 - R38 000 Per Month

Design Advisor

Cape Town CBD
Mpumalanga Personnel & Training Consultants

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The quest for understanding has reached a new intense emotional level. The more tempestuous your emotions are, the bigger the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.