Goa building collapse toll is 17

Panaji, Jan 6: One more mangled body has been recovered from the debris of a building which crashed in Goa two days ago, taking the death toll to 17, authorities said Monday.

An unconfirmed number of labourers continue to be trapped under the debris at Canacona. One official who requested anonymity put the figure at around 15, and said the chances of their survival was bleak.

“A lot of cries could be heard from inside the debris Saturday afternoon, immediately after the collapse,” an official said.

“By Sunday evening the shouting subsided. There are no sounds from those who are trapped,” he added.

The army, police and fire services continue to carry out the rescue work. The mangled body was taken out Sunday night.

“It will be difficult for me to say how long the rescue operation will take,” Goa Fire Service chief Ashok Menon said.

The trapped labourers are reportedly buried within a large cavity created by a fallen slab.

Menon said it was difficult to reach them because the slab was threatening to fall further whenever attempts were made to break through the concrete.

Ruby Residency, a five storey building under construction, collapsed Saturday afternoon trapping more than 50 labourers and security guards.

Nearly 40 hours after the accident, neither the state administration nor police can confirm the number of those trapped under the debris. No arrest has been made.

A police complaint has been filed against the builder, contractor, site engineer and municipal authorities who sanctioned the construction.

“The police have not arrested anyone yet. But they will soon,” Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar told reporters Monday.

IANS