Himachal building collapse: 7 killed, 8 people still trapped beneath debris

Shimla, July 15: Six soldiers and a civilian were killed and 35 rescued after a four-storey building collapsed due to heavy rains in Solan’s Kumarhatti area,55 km from Himachal Pradesh capital Shimla.An FIR has been registered against the owner of the building. Deputy Commissioner K.C. Chaman said measures are on to rescue people trapped in the debris as it is believed that six-eight people are still trapped in the debris.

He further said that an FIR has been registered against the owner of the building, adding, an inquiry will be initiated to ascertain the cause of the mishap.

“It’s a matter of inquiry as to how the building collapsed. This building was constructed in 2009, and a floor was added to it recently. An FIR against the owner has already been lodged. We will conduct an inquiry,” he added.

Himachal Pradesh Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur has ordered investigation into the collapse of a multi-storey building.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur visited the incident site to review the rescue operation and said that the building structure was not as per specifications.

“It is very unfortunate. Rescue operation was started immediately. Orders have been given to investigate the cause of the collapse. As per info received till now, the building structure was not as per specifications,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

While 23 soldiers and 12 civilians were pulled out from the rubbles, the rescue operation by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Army and the state police has been on for over 16 hours.

The dead included building owner’s wife Archana.

According to officials, the incident took place on Sunday when soldiers, belonging to the Assam Rifles of nearby Dagshai Cantonment, were having their party at a roadside eatery-cum-residential complex which caved in due to heavy rain.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has tweeted praying for people trapped inside the debris including the Army jawans.”I wish and pray, the people including army personnel trapped under a building debris in #Solan, #HimachalPradesh are rescued safely,” Gehlot said.

BJP working president JP Nadda has also reacted saying that CM Jai Ram Thakur is personally monitoring the situation. “A building has collapsed in Solan, Himachal Pradesh in which some army personnel are also trapped. I spoke to the Chief Minister of the State, Jai Ram ji for relief operations. He is personally monitoring the incident,” Nadda was quoted by ANI as saying.

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