The workers were digging deep to build the cellar of a building under construction when mud caved in

Two workers were buried alive while one was rescued after a cave-in at a construction site near Sai Baba temple in Dilsukhnagar on Monday.

The workers were digging deep to build the cellar of a building under construction when the cave-in occurred around 10 a.m. Those dead were identified as Ramchandar (50) and Srinu (30). The duo was using a hydraulic drill while Laxman (20) was lifting the loose soil. They had already dug about 50-foot deep and further work was on.

There were eight workers on the site, but two of them took a tea break. The other three workers Eeramma, Amruta and Krishna were standing on the ground. As they watched the ongoing work they heard a thud and saw the soil caving in. “We could see one side of the cellar caving in. We screamed and ran down, but by that time three of them were trapped,” they recalled. Had they been also working in the pit, casualties would have been higher.

As the news spread, locals and police rushed there. Police and civic authorities managed to get some hydraulic excavators to take up rescue operations. With much difficulty, they managed to pull out Laxman safely. He was in a state of shock and was injured. He was rushed to a hospital where his condition was stated to be improving. Bodies of Ramchandar and Srinu were retrieved in a couple of hours after the loose soil was removed. Tension prevailed as the victims’ families and other workers refused to allow shifting of the bodies for the autopsy alleging negligence on the part of the complex owners.

Ramchandar hailed from Singampally of Mahabubnagar district and had two sons. Srinu hailed from Maadugula of Nalgonda district and has three daughters. They were living in Karmanghat. Saroornagar Inspector A.V.R. Narasimha Rao is investigating the case.

Guidelines ignored: GHMC

The GHMC has stated that the P&T Colony (Dilsukhnagar) mishap occurred because the owner/site engineer, instead of leaving 10-foot distance for taking up digging for the cellar based on soil testing report, had left just seven feet, ignoring the prescribed guidelines.

Additional Commissioner K. Dhananjaya Reddy, who rushed to the site on receipt of information, told presspersons that criminal cases will be booked against the contractors Bikshapati and builder Krishna and the four land owners — Srisailam, Purnachander Rao, Anuradha and Leela — for their negligence during the construction.

Action will also be initiated against the municipal officials if any discrepancy on their part was found. Permission was granted for two cellars, ground plus four floors building in an area of 1,192.28 sq.mts to the land owners, he said and cautioned all the land owners and technical personnel concerned to follow norms when taking up such works. He also said that a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh will be provided by the GHMC out of the Mayor’s discretionary funds as ex gratia to the deceased in addition to the Rs. 50,000 to be paid by the Collector under the ‘Apatbandhu’ scheme. The matter of getting compensation from the builder will also be negotiated as per the request of the deceased family members, he added.

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