Debris clearance at east Delhi building collapse site ends

Debris clearance operations at the east Delhi building collapse site ended this evening after 96 long hours of rescue work by personnel drawn from a variety of agencies.

Updated: Nov 21, 2010, 01:24 AM IST

New Delhi: Debris clearance operations at
the east Delhi building collapse site ended this evening after
96 long hours of rescue work by personnel drawn from a variety
of agencies.

Rescue workers did not say whether any bodies were
recovered in the past 48 hours. The toll in the collapse of
the multi-storeyed building in Lalita Park area of Laxmi Nagar
stands at 70.

"The clearance operations is over," a fire brigade
official said.

Eighty-one people are undergoing treatment at various
city hospitals.

Delhi government has ordered a judicial probe into the
incident to find out what led to the incident and suggest
measures to overhaul the system which can act as a
"deterrence" against such tragedies.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta said a
special Crime Branch team investigating the building collapse
in east Delhi will probe all angles including how the
"unauthorised, weak" structure came up.

Gupta said the investigations was handed over to Crime
Branch from local police to ensure that all angles can be
probed and all documents examined properly.

"Already a case has been registered. We have arrested
the owner of the building who had gone into hiding. A special
team has been constituted. All angles will be investigated and
no aspect will be left," Gupta told reporters here.

He was responding to a question whether the probe by
Crime Branch will cover the negligence of MCD officials or
local administration with regard to the collapse of the
multi-storeyed building in Lalita Park on Monday night.

The Commissioner said the magnitude of the disaster
was so big that it claimed at least 70 lives.

"How these unauthorised, weak structures came up, many
people lost lives, poor people have suffered in this disaster.

There is a need for a proper investigation and we will do
that," Gupta said.

Amritpal Singh (55), the owner of the building, was
arrested on Wednesday night from Geeta Colony area after he
went in hiding after the incident. Singh has at least 25 cases
against him.

Officials of MCD and local administration as well as
police were accused of conniving with Singh and people like
him to allow unauthorised construction in Lalita Park
locality, which was regularised by government.

PTI