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7 killed in Kolkata building collapse, Mamata assures stern action

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Kolkata, March 18: At least seven people, including two women, were killed and several others injured after an under-construction five-storey building collapsed in the Garden Reach area of Kolkata, police said on Monday.
The toll could go up since at least four people were spotted trapped under the debris, 16 hours after the collapse, and only one of them showed signs of life, a fire services official, engaged in rescue operations, said.
Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim said the rescue operations were carried out on war footing at the site where the building was being constructed illegally.
While Md Wasim, the promoter of the building, was arrested, the mayor said stringent action would be taken as per law.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the building collapse site at Azan Molla Lane in the city’s western periphery and assured locals of stern action against illegal construction.
In a horrific accident, the under-construction five-storey building collapsed around midnight, Hakim said.
“We are using gas cutters and other equipment to clear the debris and reach those who are stuck underneath. It’s taking a long time since we are proceeding cautiously towards the victims,” the fire services official told PTI, adding that the personnel from NDRF, the state and Kolkata Police disaster management teams were also working in tandem.
Owing to the massive pile-up of debris, rescue workers are finding it tough to reach those who have been trapped, he said.
“We have compiled a list of victims of the building collapse. Seven people died and two of them were women. Of the 15 injured people, 11 are undergoing treatment at hospitals and four were discharged after preliminary treatment,” a senior officer said.
“Sad to learn about the house collapse disaster of an under-construction building in the Garden Reach area of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. Our Mayor, Fire Minister, Secretaries and Commissioner of Police, civic, police, fire and disaster management officers and teams (including NDRF, KMC and KP teams) have been on site throughout the night for mitigating the disaster,” the chief minister wrote on X.
She said the government will provide compensation to the next of kin of each deceased and the injured persons.
In a post on X last night, Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari said, “I urge @chief_west, Secretary @HomeBengal, @CPKolkata to immediately involve West Bengal State Disaster Management Team for immediate Rescue & Relief.”
“I am receiving frantic calls regarding probable casualties. Please dispatch any team which can help in rescuing the victims, be it fire Servicemen, police or any other team,” he said.
Adhikari also shared pictures from the building collapse site. (PTI)

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