The developers of a housing society in Pune, where a wall collapsed and fell on the shanties of construction workers, killing 15 and injuring three, were warned five months ago by residents about the dangerous condition of the wall. A meeting was called by the residents where the developers were told that the wall was tilting outwards. Jagdish Agarwal, the Director of a firm Alcon Landmarks, had told the residents that the wall was safe and that if anything would happen, it would be taken care of, a resident claimed.
"We had a meeting on February 16 with Vivek Agarwal (a partner at Alcon Landmarks) over the pending works. We highlighted the condition of the wall, told him that it was tilting outward and its construction quality was not satisfactory," the resident of the housing society was quoted as saying by PTI.
The residents also sent the developers an e-mail with the minutes of the meeting, reported news agency PTI. The e-mail was forwarded to the Pune Municipal Corporation and the police, according to another resident.
Rescue personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the fire department were called in to search for people stuck under the debris of the collapsed 12 to 15-foot high wall. Four children and a woman were among those who died in the collapse. Most were sleeping when the wall fell on their homes.
Excavation work being carried out just 40 feet away from the wall is believed to be the reason for the wall collapse. The base of the wall weakened because of the construction work, leading to it tilting outward.
The wall collapse pulled with them cars that were parked inside the apartment complex. Visuals showed cars stuck in debris in Pune's Kondhwa area, where the collapse occurred.
A case of culpable homicide was registered Jagdishprasad Agarwal (64), Sachin Agarwal (34), Rajesh Agarwal (27), Vivek Agarwal (21) and Vipul Agarwal (21) of Alcon Landmarks as well as Pankaj Vora, Suresh Shah and Rashmikant Gandhi, the personnel of Kanchan Royal Exotica project, the firm for which the excavation work was going on.
Among those named in the complaint, Vipul and Vivek Agarwal have been arrested, according to news agency ANI.
(With Inputs From PTI And ANI)