NOIDA: Nine bodies have been recovered from under the rubble of two adjacent buildings which collapsed in Greater Noida on the outskirts of the national capital. The mishap occurred on Tuesday night when a six-floor under-construction building crashed on a five-storeyed building next to it, bringing it down as well. The incident took place in Shahberi village under Bisrakh police station. At least 12 labourers were in the under-construction building when the mishap took place.
Nearly 150 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) mounted a rescue operation along with the police and the fire department. Rescuers deployed heavy machinery to shift concrete slabs and used drills in a bid to reach people buried under the debris. Sniffer dogs were also used to detect any sign of life.
NDRF has been exercising caution while operating the machines so that those trapped under the debris are not harmed hence there has been a delay in the rescue operation.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered the suspension of two officials for dereliction of duty and asked the Meerut divisional commissioner to conduct an inquiry to determine the extent of illegal construction in the area. Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate Brajesh Narayan Singh also ordered an investigation into the mishap, to be completed within 15 days.
At least one of the two buildings was unauthorised. A state government statement said a magisterial probe will find out whether the buildings were under the jurisdiction of the Greater Noida Development Authority and if a no-objection certificate (NOC) was obtained before carrying out the construction.
It will also determine if the quality of the building material was up to the mark and the construction workers were registered in accordance with the labour laws.
Local residents claimed that some builders had purchased land directly from the farmers and developed an unauthorised colony.
According to the FIR lodged at Bisrakha police station, poor quality material was used in the construction of the building. The FIR said district authorities had been warning builders and contractors in general against unauthorised construction.
Three of those arrested have been identified as landowner Ganga Shankar Dwivedi and brokers Dinesh Singh and Sanjeev Kumar, both residents of Shahberi.