A man died after an earthmover accidentally rammed into the wall of a three-storeyed building in Punjab's Mohali, causing the structure to collapse. Three others were extracted from the rubble after fire brigade personnel launched a rescue operation in coordination with the National Disaster Response Force.
The victim was identified as the operator of the earthmover, which had come under the collapsed building in the accident. The body has been extracted and sent for a post-mortem examination.
Officials said that the building, which functioned as the official premises of a local builder located near the JTPL City Project on the Kharar-Landran road, collapsed when the excavator working on an adjacent plot accidentally hit one of its walls. "The commercial building collapsed after a JCB was digging an adjoining plot for constructing a basement," PTI quoted Kharar Sub-Divisional Magistrate Himanshu Jain as saying.
Mohali Deputy Commissioner Girish Dayalan said Himanshu Jain has been ordered to probe the incident and submit a report within a week. "The probe will also reveal if the construction work on the adjacent site was illegal. If something is not found to be in order, the guilty will be brought in," he said.
Girish Dayalan said the government's first priority is to ascertain that nobody else is stuck under the collapsed structure. "Officials from the district administration were among the first to arrive at the spot. After fire personnel and medical teams reached, an NDRF team with specialised equipment was summoned from Panchkula. A team of 25 personnel is involved in the rescue operation," he said, adding that a team from Ludhiana has also been called for back-up.
The Western Command of the Army has been kept on stand-by, and their engineers will also join the rescue operation if needed. The NDRF has deployed dog squads at the site to locate people who may still be buried in the debris, the Deputy Commissioner said.
Girish Daylan said that while one of the people rescued -- Harjeet -- was discharged after first-aid, another identified as Prem Bahadur is being treated for a fracture at the Civil Hospital in Kharar. The condition of the third rescued person was not immediately known.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had earlier expressed concern over the incident, and tweeted out a photograph of rescue officials at work. "Anguished to learn of the collapse of a three-storeyed building in Kharar today... NDRF, Fire Brigade and Mohali officials are on the spot for immediate rescue and relief. Have asked DC Mohali Girish Dayalan to send a detailed report on what caused this collapse," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)