3 rescued, 3 trapped as building collapses in Punjab

Chandigarh (IANS) A three-storey commercial building collapsed in Punjab's adjoining Mohali district on Saturday, trapping at least six people, out of whom three have been rescued, police said.

After eight hours of the rescue operation, the third survivor was extricated. Authorities believe three people are still struck in the rubbles.

No casualty has been reported yet, while a magisterial probe has been ordered.

A JCB was digging out earth for making a basement of a hotel, developed by Ambika Greens, on the Kharar-Landran road in Kharar town of Mohali, when suddenly the nearby building, housing the office of a builder, caved in, according to Deputy Commissioner Girish Dayalan.

Two mobile towers installed on the building also collapsed.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate Himanshu Jain told the media that the rescue operation was on.

A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been carrying out the rescue operation.

Dayalan said the Indian Army is on standby and additional NDRF reinforcements are on the way.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh expressed anguish over the incident, and directed the district administration to take all possible steps to rescue those who might be still trapped in the debris of the building, according to an official spokesperson.

He asked the Additional District Magistrate to conduct a thorough probe into the incident and submit his report within a week. The probe would also ascertain if the construction was illegal or not, said the spokesperson.

According to Dayalan, two or three persons were believed to be under the debris and rescue operations were going in on war footing.

The entire cost of the treatment of those injured in this incident would be borne by the state government, as per the Chief Minister's orders, said the spokesperson.

he Western Command of Indian Army was also contacted and were on stand-by, and their engineers would also join the rescue operation, if needed, said the spokesperson, adding that some machines like hydra crane from L&T had been locally arranged for clearing the debris.

The NDRF would also run their canines to trace anyone buried or trapped under the debris before the rescue operation is called off, he added.

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