Chennai building collapse toll at 11; Jaya blames builder, search for trapped continues

As the death toll in the 11-storey building collapse in Chennai climbed to eleven, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday visited the site of the incident and blamed the builder.

By Himanshu Kapoor | Last Updated: Jun 29, 2014, 23:23 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Chennai: As the death toll in the 11-storey building collapse in Chennai climbed to eleven, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday visited the site of the incident and blamed the builder saying that there were structural defects in the under-construction building.

Jaya, while talking to reporters, said, “The builder flouted norms and it appears that the building plans weren`t adhered by them,” she however added, “It`s too early to say what went wrong but it appears to be a structural fault.”

Saying that the rescue operations are underway without respite, Jaya informed the reporters that so far 31 people had been recovered from the rubble and 20 of the rescued were receiving medical care in hospital. She also hinted that over 40 more people may still be trapped beneath the debris.

Apart from the four teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), a multi-rotor flyer designed by students of Anna University has been deployed to assist the rescue work at the collapse site.

The police said that out of those killed, three are women and as per the NDRF team, there is no clarity on the number of people trapped inside the debris.

Meanwhile, two people from the construction company, which had taken up the housing project, have been detained.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister had earlier in the day directed the police to take action against those responsible for the incident and announced a Rs two lakh solatium for the family members of those killed and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
According to the state authorities, the building collapsed in heavy rain at around 5 pm Saturday. The injured were rushed to Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute.
Meanwhile, the Prime Srishti Housing Private Limited director, which had taken up the residential project, said that thunder strike was the cause of building collapse.

The official release from Chennai Police said that an preliminary investigation revealed there was no coordination between the architects, structural engineers and site engineers over execution of the residential project developed by the builder.

The investigation also revealed that there was no periodic supervision of the project by the structural engineer and norms prescribed by the structural engineer were not followed by the builder, adding that, “It also appeared that the builder executed the project under the supervision of inexperienced site engineers and the Managing Director alone supervised the execution, who does not have any technical knowledge.”