One more body was recovered from the debris of a four-storeyed under construction building that collapsed at Dharwad in north Karnataka Tuesday, taking the toll to three. At least 37 people have been rescued so far and the relief operations are still underway.
The building came down crashing Tuesday evening, giving rise to a thick cloud of dust at Kumareshwaranagar in the heart of Dharwad, triggering widespread panic among neighbours and passers-by.
Rescuers have pulled out at least 37 people from the rubble, police said, adding, the injured have been hospitalised, ANI reported.
As many as 10 ambulances and five fire tenders were deployed to carry out relief and rescue operations. Residents said there were several shops on the ground floor and many people often used to visit there.
Rajesh, a witness, told a Kannada TV channel that the first two floors of the building were being rented out by shops.
"There was a tea shop, a photostat shop," he added. Former Karnataka minister and Congress leader from the region Vinay Kulkarni said one of the partners in the building was his relative.
Speaking to reporters, he said whoever was involved should face action.
Most of those trapped were migrant labourers from North India who were engaged in laying the tiles. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who expressed shock over the collapse, directed the chief secretary to supervise the rescue operation.
An eye-witness alleged that the building did not have the capacity to bear four storeys whereas an extra floor was being added.
"The builders had used substandard materials," he told reporters.
Besides police and fire and emergency services, BSF jawans, who were deployed for the Lok Sabha polls, too were engaged, as the rescue operations were on.
With inputs from agencies