Building collapse: Probe ordered, rains hit debris clearance

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

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.


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