15 dead after wall collapses on shanties in labour camp in Pune

Updated: Jun 30, 2019, 08:10 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh | Pune

Pune cops arrest two builders for negligence; CM declares Rs 5 lakh compensation for family of deceased

Teams from the Fire Brigade and NDRF were rushed to the spot
Teams from the Fire Brigade and NDRF were rushed to the spot

Fifteen people, including two women and four children, died after a compound wall collapsed inside a labour camp in Kondhwa area, early on Saturday. The incident occurred following heavy rainfall in the region.

According to the police, at around 1.40 am on Saturday, the compound wall of a residential complex — Alcon Stylus society — near Talab factory, collapsed on 12 shanties in the labour camp. Cars that were parked above, also crashed into the camp. Teams from the Fire Brigade and NDRF were rushed to the spot.

Rescue operations were underway all through Saturday morning
Rescue operations were underway all through Saturday morning

Eyewitness and resident of the labour camp, Chotelal Sahani, who lost his relatives in the incident, said, "There are around 34 shanties inside the camp. I lived with my relatives, Sunil [Singh], Advesh [Singh] and Laxmikant [Sahani] in one of the houses. Usually, we would only go to sleep after midnight, but as it was raining heavily that day, we turned in by 11 pm. While the others slept inside, I was sleeping closer to the door. Around 1.30 am, a wall suddenly fell into our home. I managed to escape because I was near the door."

While Sahani managed to pull a severely injured Sunil and Laxmikant out, Avdesh was stuck below the car, which had fallen directly on him. The trio was among those who were killed in the incident. Incidentally, the labourers were working for the builders, Alcon Landmark.

"Three buildings of 15 storeys each were going to come up in the area, and plinth level work was on. We were all daily wage labourers, working at this site," said Sahani.

Also Read: Nitish Kumar announces ex gratia for Pune wall collapse victims

Speaking to mid-day, Narayanji Gangandev Singh, a relative of one of the deceased said, "The site work was going on for the last three months. It appears that the builder had failed to pay the labourers. There was a total outstanding amount of R3 lakh. To mark their protest, the labourers had decided to protest at the spot."

When contacted, Senior Inspector Anil Patil of Kondhwa Police said, "We have arrested builders Vipul and Vivek Agarwal. The other partners are on run. Prima facie it seem that builders did not enroll their labourers name as per the legal process. Investigations are on."

Also Read: Mumbai Rains: Wall collapses on autorickshaw stand in Chembur, no casualties reported

The police have also booked the site engineer, supervisors and labour contractors, for negligence under various sections of the IPC. Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said that most of the labourers hailed from West Bengal and Bihar. "We have constituted a committee under additional collector, civic bodies, engineers, police and doctors. They will submit a report in 24 hours time.

After a post-mortem, the bodies will be sent to their respective hometowns." Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also declared a compensation of R5 lakh for the family of the deceased and R25,000 for those injured.

Also Read: 15 dead in Kondhwa wall collapse as heavy rains lash Pune

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