Delhi building collapse: Toll rises to 70

The death toll in the East Delhi building collapse has reached 70 after 3 more bodies were recovered.

Updated: Nov 18, 2010, 13:28 PM IST

New Delhi: With three more bodies
extricated by rescuers who continued to dig through the debris
at the building collapse site in east Delhi for the fourth day
on Thursday, the death toll in the tragedy has climbed to 70.
The dead include 29 women and 17 children. Rescuers
said there was little hope of finding any survivors.

While the body of a five-year-boy was found at
11:55 PM last night, rescue workers pulled out the body of a
40-year-old woman around 12:30 AM from the site in Lalita Park
area of Laxmi Nagar.

Seven hours later a body of a 25-year-old man was
recovered from the debris, fire and medical officials said.

All the three were brought to Lok Naya Jai Prakash
Hospital, its Medical Superintendent Amit Banerjee said.

With this, the death toll in the building collapse has
mounted to 70.

Though yesterday`s showers affected their work,
rescuers today continued to remove debris from the site.

"We are going a little bit slow in breaking the
concrete slabs as it supports adjoining buildings. So the
debris removal is taking a little more time than usual," a
senior official said.

"There may be some bodies. But there is very little
chance of finding any survivor," the official said.

Relatives of those missing were making a beeline to
the city hospitals to trace their loved ones.

Over 60 families, mostly labourers from West Bengal
and Bihar, were living in the cramped quarters of the
15-year-old building, where an illegal fifth floor was under

82 injured were receiving treatment at various
hospitals in the city.

Yesterday, Delhi Government appointed a one-member
judicial commission to probe the incident "in view of the
scale of the mishap, large number of casualties and number of
complex issues connected with the incident."

The inquiry would be conducted by former Delhi High
Court judge Justice Lokeshwar Prashad. He will probe all
aspects of the incident including whether there was any
procedural, administrative and statutory lapses that led to
the tragedy. He has been asked to file his report within three

The MCD has also 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.