Goa building: 18 dead, rescue operations resume

By John Edwards, Panaji, Jan 7 : As the rescue operation at Canacona building collapse site reached day four, the rescuers on Tuesday retrieved the body of another labourer from the ruins with the total number of deaths touching 18 so far.

The rescue operation resumed manually on Tuesday morning several hours after it stopped when three buildings adjacent to the accident spot developed cracks and tilted.

The buildings have already been evacuated and its demolition will be carried out on Wednesday.

A team of Goa police has reached Navi Mumbai to trace the whereabouts of the builder and contractor who are booked for serious offenses.

Fire officials who are assisting a team of Pune based national disaster response force said chances of survival of 12-odd trapped workers are almost nil.

"One more male body found and removed. We are using location camera to search the trapped victims. Fire fighters are using canister mask as foul smell is emanating in the area," Fire and Emergency Services Director Ashok Menon said.

Meanwhile, the police have booked two civic engineers for culpable homicide, corruption and criminal conspiracy and other charges.

Deputy Town Planner Prakash Bandodkar has been arrested in this case.

The five storey under construction building - Ruby Residency crashed last Saturday when the labourers were on lunch break.

The Congress party have demanded judicial probe despite government appointing a panel headed by retired IAS officer to inquire into the case.

The Goa State Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance into the matter and issued notice to chief secretary B Vijayan to submit a detailed report on the incident by Feb 6.

--IBNS (Posted on 08-01-2014)

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