One killed, three trapped in Ahmedabad building collapse

Friday, January 28, 2011

AHMEDABAD - One person was killed and three people were trapped when a five-storey newly-constructed building here collapsed Friday morning, leading to the partial collapse of two adjoining buildings also, fire officials said. Over a dozen people were injured in the accident.

The five-storey building, called ‘President’, was apparently constructed illegally in Kalupur area of the densely populated old walled city . Early Friday, it tilted to one side, crushing two adjoining old residential buildings and affecting two others as well.

Rescue operations are on and 10 people have been rescued while search is on for the rest. A fire brigade volunteer is among the injured who have been admitted to the V.S. municipal hospital, said Additional Chief Fire Officer Rajesh Bhatt.

Many people were still sleeping around 7.30 a.m. when the collapse took place.

“Two of my relatives — 60-year-old Naseem Banu and Kadir (22) — are still trapped inside and there is no response if we call out to them in the debris,” said Sikandar Khan Pathan, who stays in the neighbouring house.

The new building had apparently been constructed on an old one and was a matchbox-type structure that tilted due to a faulty foundation, witnesses who live in the area said.

“Lots of illegal constructions take place in these bylanes in the guise of repairs which is very difficult to monitor,” said a civic official.

Fire brigade personnel who rushed to the area had a tough time working in the extremely narrow and serpentine lanes of the densely congested old walled city.

“There was no way that one could take fire tenders and other equipment inside these lanes where three people would find it difficult to walk abreast,” said the fire officer.

Municipal Commissioner I.P. Gautam has ordered an enquiry to be conducted by the chief engineer of the civic body. “The builder will be made liable… He will have to pay compensation to those whose houses have been affected,” he said.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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