Lucknow building collapse: There were initial reports of three people in unconscious condition and were feared dead.
Two people died and around 14 were rescued after a four-storey residential building collapsed in Lucknow's Hazratganj on Tuesday. Two women — the mother and wife of a Samajwadi Party (SP) spokesperson — have been confirmed dead and two more people are still feared trapped under the debris. More than a dozen people have been rescued so far and admitted to hospitals.
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The deceased were identified as Uzma Haider, 30, and Begum Haider, 87, the wife and mother of Samajwadi Party spokesperson Abbas Haider. They were pulled out of the debris and died later, news agency PTI reported.
Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak, who earlier talked about the death of three people in the incident, retracted his comment. He told news agency PTI that there were initial reports of three people in unconscious condition and were feared dead.
"But now information is coming that nobody is dead. Those rescued from the building have been moved to hospitals," Pathak said. "The rescue operation is going on. NDRF-SDRF personnel have arrived at the spot. Police jawans and fire brigade personnel have also arrived," he said.
Meanwhile, District Magistrate Suryapal Gangwar said, "(Uttar Pradesh) Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is keeping a watch on the rescue operations. The defence minister has also given instructions. An Army team has arrived here for rescue work."
Why the collapse happened?
Asked if the building collapse may have been caused by an earthquake earlier in the day, he said, "This is not the right time to deliberate on the reasons. At present, the rescue operation is going on." He added that contact has been established with two people who are trapped under the debris and oxygen supply has been arranged for them.
"All the people who have been rescued are safe and under stable treatment. Seven rescued people were sent to Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Civil Hospital," a police official said at the spot of the incident.
The Lucknow DM said local people informed the authorities that some work was going on in the basement of the building.
A 5.8-magnitude earthquake jolted the remote mountainous districts in western Nepal on Tuesday, killing one person and damaging dozens of houses in the region, Nepalese officials had said. Meteorological department sources, when contacted, said that the depth of the earthquake was 10 kilometres, and its distance was 294 kilometres NNE (North North-East) from Lucknow.
Meanwhile, a Hindustan Times report quoted Lucknow divisional commissioner (Ms) Roshan Jacob as saying that the building was illegal and its “map was not passed”. “Currently we are focused on rescue, and relief ops. But action…will be taken against the builder,” Jacob added.t
The building — Alaya Apartments — was constructed on the land of Samajwadi Party leader Shahid Manzoor, who had given it to a builder. SP MLAs Arman Khan and Ravidas Mehrotra visited the spot and told the media that strict action should be taken against the guilty.
"Digging was going on in the basement. A probe should be initiated and strict action should be taken against the guilty. It's a very serious matter and those who played with lives of people should face action," SP MLA Mehrotra said.
On being pointed out that the land on which the apartment was constructed belonged to his party leader, Mehrotra said, "This is not a matter of party and strict action should be taken." Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered setting up a three-member committee to probe the incident and submit a report within a week.
The Lucknow administration, meanwhile, ordered lodging of a case against the builder and owners of the multi-storey building in the Hazratganj area, a government statement issued here said on Wednesday.
CM Adityanath directed officials to provide adequate treatment to the injured. Directions have also been issued to hospitals to stay alert. Pathak further said that the four-storey building had around 12 flats, out of which nine had occupants. Many senior civil and police officials, including Principal Secretary to the chief minister Sanjay Prasad and DGP D S Chauhan are on the spot.
First Published: Jan 25, 2023 7:47 AM IST