SP spokesperson's wife, mother killed in Lucknow building collapse, 2 more still feared trapped
Tremors were felt in Lucknow and other parts of Uttar Pradesh after an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale hit Nepal
Two women have died and two more people are still feared trapped a day after a multi-storey building collapsed in Lucknow.
The deceased were identified as Samajwadi Party spokesperson Abbas Haider's wife Uzma Haider and mother Begum Haider.
Begum Haider, 87, who was pulled out of the debris Wednesday morning after a nightlong rescue operation, was rushed to a hospital, where she died.
It seems that she had suffered internal injuries, State Director General of Police D S Chouhan told reporters.
One more person was rescued from the rubble of a building that collapsed in Lucknow's Hazratganj on Tuesday, taking the total number of people pulled out so far to 15, while at least two more are still feared trapped, a senior official said on Wednesday.
A coordinated multi-agency search operation is underway to locate the two, even as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered setting up a three-member committee to probe the incident and submit a report in a week. The Lucknow administration, meanwhile, ordered lodging of a case against the builder and owners of the multi-storey building in Hazratganj area, a government statement issued here said on Wednesday.
A senior official said teams from the National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force and other agencies, which have been on the rescue job since last evening, managed to rescue a woman this morning. She has been rushed to the civil hospital.
An Army team has also arrived at the spot, they said.
"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.
Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak, who earlier talked about the death of three people in the incident, retracted his comment.
Talking to PTI, he said 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.
The Lucknow DM said local people informed the authorities that some work was going on in the basement of the building.
A 5.9-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.
A government spokesman the three-member team constituted by the chief minister comprises Lucknow Divisional Commissioner Roshan Jacob, Joint Commissioner of Police Piyush Mordia and Public Works Department chief engineer.
This committe will identify those responsible for the incident and submit its report in a week's time, the spokesman said.
Jacob directed Lucknow Development Authority officials to take action against building owners Mohammad Tareef, Nawazish Shahid as well as Yazdan builders. he ordered lodging a case against them.
The DC has also ordered that other buildings constructed by Yazdan builder in Lucknow city should be identified and inspected. If they are found illegal or of poor quality, they should be demolished, he said.
Earlier Uttar Pradesh DGP D S Chauhan, who was at the site, said, "Around 12 people have been rescued. This is the hour of patience, not the time to rush because when you are cutting a building, it should not create any other problem. Rescue work is being carried out in a very scientific way, and I am confident that those who are trapped inside (under the debris) will be saved."
Asked what may have caused the collapse, Chauhan said, "The reasons will be known when the experts and the police carry out their investigations. As of now, as per our assumption, which is based on feedback from family members, around five-seven people are still inside (the debris)." The DGP added that the rescue operations will continue for another 12 hours.
Last night District Magistrate Suryapal Gangwar said NDRF and SDRF teams are engaged in rescue operations. "So far, 11 people have been rescued, and five more are possibly trapped. As per the clues obtained from the site of the collapse, the NDRF and SDRF teams are cutting the walls, and after cutting the walls, (trapped) people will be rescued." "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," he added.
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.
Meteorological department sources here, 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 doctor attending to the patients admitted in the Civil Hospital said they have sustained external injuries and are in a state of shock. CT scan and X-rays have been done and there is no major injury seen in any of them. The team of specialists are present, he said. There are two other patients admitted to the Trauma centre of the King George's Medical University, he added.
Chief Minister Adityanath is keeping a watch on the rescue operations, a government spokesman said According to the Deputy Chief Minister Brijesh Pathak, all the hospitals in the district are on alert. There were 12 flats in the four-storey building, of which nine were occupied, he said.
One of those admitted since last night has been discharged and the others are fine, Pathak said.
"Our prime concern, as of now, is to ensure that all the victims are rescued and given proper medical attention," Pathak said, adding that stern action will be taken against all those who are found responsible for the incident.