Kanpur building collapse: 3-yr-old rescued from debris after 15 hours

KANPUR: The NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) teams at around 3.30 am on Thursday pulled out three-year-old Lakshmi who was trapped under the debris for nearly 15 hours after a six-storey under-construction building collapsed in Jajmau area of Kanpur, on Wednesday afternoon.

NDRF team members said the rescue of the 3-year-old girl has raised hopes that more people will be pulled out alive. “Three-year-old girl Lakshmi was found to be sleeping, has been rushed to Lala Lajpat Rai hospital for necessary medical aid,” they said.

“In the rescue operations taken up jointly by the National Disaster Response Force team, Fire and Emergency Services personnel and the police, meanwhile, one more body was retrieved from under the debris of the six-storey under construction building in Jajmau area of Kanpur that collapsed on Wednesday taking the toll to five,” said district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma while talking to TOI.

The police identified the two deceased as Ramesh and Sarvesh Kumar, both natives of Maharajpur area of the district, while the identity of three others including the one whose body was retrieved on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday is yet to be ascertained.

Police have registered an FIR against the alleged owner of the building Samajwadi Party leader Mahtab Alam and the contractor. “On the complaint of a senior official of KDA (Kanpur Development Authority), who claimed that the construction work at the plot – which covers 387 mtr area, in Pritam Vihar Jajmau, to be illegal, a case at Chakeri police station has been registered under various sections of IPC against Mahtab Alam and contractor, who are on the run,” said SSP Akash Kulhari adding that search operations are on to make their arrest possible.

The NDRF team members, who scanned the entire area using advanced equipment, said that around 30 to 50 people are still trapped. “The operation will take another 48 to 72 hours,” said Alok singh of the NDRF. He told TOI that the the NDRF teams are not being able to use advance equipments the way the building has collapsed. He said that if advance equipments are used then it could cause damage to the houses in the vicinity of the damaged underconstruction building.

He further said that one more team of NDRF from Varanasi has arrived at the site to advance the rescue operation.

In total now there are five teams of NDRF working hard to pull out the survivors from under the debris of the collapsed building. “We are taking the help of trained dogs and Victim Locating Camera (VLC) to locate those people who could be still alive but trapped. We are also using gas cutters and Hydraulic drill machines to reach deep inside the debris to locate survivors,” said another senior member of NDRF adding that they had created a hole of 4×4 feet to reach third-storey, where maximum numbers of people are said to be trapped.

Police barricaded the site as controlling the crowd was becoming an issue.

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