24 killed in Delhi house collapse (Second Lead)By IANS
Monday, November 15, 2010
NEW DELHI - At least 24 people were killed and and more than 40 injured when a five-storeyed house collapsed in east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar Monday night. More than 40 people are believed to be trapped under the rubble, officials said.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that 24 people were killed in the house collapse.
Dikshit also said that 200-300 people were involved in the rescue operations.
Delhi Fire Service chief fire officer R.C. Sharma said that at least 40 people have been rescued and sent to the hospital. Their condition is said to be critical
According to Municipal Corporation of Delhi, about 70 people were trapped in the collapse.
Eyewitnesses said there were shouts coming from the people trapped under the rubble.
Emergency services and heavy equipment to remove the rubble were delayed in reaching the spot due to the narrow streets of the colony. The darkness and rain also hampered the rescue effort, though local people were removing the concrete pieces by hand.
The injured have been taken to Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narayan hospital and Lal Bahadur Shastri hospital.
There are several versions for the building collapse. “It seems that the basement of the building was filled with water, which could have caused the collapse,” Delhi Finance Minister A.K. Walia told reporters.
But, according to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi official, the main reason could have been illegal construction. “Just three days ago, we prevented another five storey building in Mahavir Enclave from collapsing, by demolishing the illegal structures,” he said.
East Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit has rushed to the spot.