Dharwad: The death toll in Karnataka’s Dharwad building collapse rose to 11 on Thursday. More than 60 people have been rescued in the building collapse in the state. With the rescue operations continuing for the third consecutive day, rescuers fear that at least 12 to 15 people are still trapped under the debris as they heard voices coming from inside.
The bodies of Divya Unakal (8), Dakshayini (45) and an unidentified person were retrieved from the debris. A National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) team is also a part of the operation.
BJP MLA from Hubballi-Dharwad Central and former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar too visited the spot and took stock of the situation.
Until Wednesday afternoon, the death toll had reached five. District Surgeon Giridhar Kuknoor had confirmed that 43 people were admitted to the Civil Hospital while 13 people were referred to KIMS and SDM hospital.
An under-construction building had collapsed on Tuesday night in Dharwad’s Kumareshwar Nagar. Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had expressed “shock” over the incident. He tweeted, “Shocked to learn about the collapse of an under-construction building in Dharwad. I have instructed the Chief Secretary to supervise rescue operations. I have also directed the CS to send additional resources and expert rescuers by a special flight to Dharwad.”
Reportedly, the construction had been on for the past two years. The first two floors had around 60 shops which were operational. Reports had also suggested that about 150 people were in the shops when the structure crashed.
Nearly 10 ambulances and five fire tenders were rushed to the spot to carry out rescue and relief operations, at the time of the incident.
“2 people dead, 28 people rescued and receiving treatment at Civil Hospital. NDRF and SDRF team has reached the site of building collapse. Oxygen and water given to 7 people buried in debris. Rescue operation to continue at night,” Deputy Commissioner Dharwad had told ANI.
The building is owned by Basavraj Nigadi, Gangadhar Shintre and Ravi Sobrad. While the real reason behind the collapse is still not known, it can only be probed once the rescue operation gets over.
Locals sought to know how the civic agencies turned a blind eye to sub-standard materials being used for the construction, though everybody was apprehensive about the strength of the building. No arrests have been made as of yet.