Panaji, Jan 6 IANS | 10 months ago

A committee headed by a retired IAS officer will probe the building collapse Saturday which claimed 17 lives, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said Monday.


The chief minister also said that he was forced to camp at the accident site for six hours, as administrative leadership in rescue work was poor.

Parrikar said at least 12 people believed to be trapped under the debris of the under-construction five-storey building may be dead. The building that collapsed Saturday was part of a set of residential apartments being constructed by Ruby Residency. The site is at Canacona, 80 km from the state capital.

"Retired secretary V.K. Jha has been appointed head of a three-member panel which will probe the accident, examine the extent of damage and fix responsibility," Parrikar told a press conference at the state secretariat.

Parrikar said compensation of Rs.2 lakh has been awarded to the next of kin of each of the 17 people who were killed in the crash.

The chief minister said a string of glaring irregularities was coming to the fore. The occupation certificate for the flats had already been issued, even while construction was still underway, and without the necessary stability certification.

Parrikar said the delay in arresting those accused of negligence and thus causing the accident - the builder, contractor, site engineer, municipal engineer and others - was because the administration was focused on saving the lives of the labourers trapped under the debris.

"I am actually ashamed. There was no one there to take decisions on how to go about the rescue. I ordered all the help, machinery to come there," Parrikar said, speaking of the lack of administrative leadership at the site.

Seventeen people, nearly all of them construction workers, were killed in the accident. Twenty-two people were left injured, and nearly 12 are missing, feared trapped under the debris and with little chance of survival, officials said.

(Posted on 06-01-2014)