Building collapse: Probe ordered, rains hit debris clearance
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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 20:35
New Delhi: Amid growing public outrage over the east Delhi building collapse, Delhi government today ordered a judicial probe into the incident even as unexpected showers slowed down debris clearance at the site where hope of finding more survivors was fading.

Rescue workers were not using big equipment to break huge concrete slabs of the ill-fated building, that collapsed leaving 67 dead, as they were supporting adjoining structures.

"The rains have affected the pace. More than that, we are not going that quick in breaking the slabs because they support the adjoining buildings. If we go fast, it may result in damage to other buildings," R C Sharma, Director of Delhi Fire Services, said.

He said the debris removal operations were nearing its end. "Till the last rubble is removed, we cannot say that there is no one trapped there. We have to see whether there is anyone trapped inside the basement."

Amid growing public outrage over the incident, Delhi Government appointed a one-member judicial commission to probe the incident.

Officials said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit decided to appoint the judicial inquiry "in view of the scale of the mishap, large number of casualties and number of complex issues connected with the incident."

Dikshit expressed confidence that the inquiry would be able to throw light on the causes of the incidence and also help in preventing the recurrence of such incidents in future.

The inquiry, to be conducted by former Delhi High Court judge Justice Lokeshwar Prashad, will probe all aspects of the incident including whether there was any procedural, administrative and statutory lapses that led to the tragedy.

Government has asked Justice Prashad to file his report within three months. The Delhi Government had already appointed a magisterial probe which was asked to submit its report within 10 days.

The MCD has, meanwhile, asked the occupants of as many as 38 "dangerous" buildings in the East Delhi area to evacuate immediately after a survey it conducted in the area following directions from Delhi Government.

"During a survey, basements of at least 38 buildings were found to be water-filled. We have issued them notice to vacate their houses immediately for their safety," Municipal Corporation of Delhi spokesperson Deep Mathur said.

Anxious relatives continued to pour into the hospital and huddled in front of the list of survivors, scanning to find some familiar names.


First Published: Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 20:35

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