A multi-storeyed building, under construction opposite the ESI Hospital near Sellur Ahimsapuram, suddenly collapsed leaving huge rubbles on Sunday.

A 40-year-old worker was killed on the spot, while six others suffered multiple injuries. Many two-wheelers and cycles parked close to the structure were badly damaged.

Panic prevailed in the locality, as rumours about the number of workers trapped were claimed to be on the higher side. Fire and Rescue Service Department personnel rushed to the spot around 8 a.m. but could not commence the operation as the locals had surrounded the collapsed building. Only after police personnel arrived, the situation was brought under control. The fire personnel rescued six workers and the ‘108’ emergency services were pressed into service. After removing the debris, the personnel spotted the body of a worker trapped underneath the ground floor. With great difficulty, the body was removed and sent to the Government Rajaji Hospital.

The Deputy Director (Fire and Rescue Services) Shahul Hameed, who visited the spot with his team of officers, said that the building, under construction, was situated on a 20 feet lane opposite ESI Hospital. The deceased was identified as Arumugam of Alanganallur. Initial probe suggested that the semi-basement with three floors was completed. The workers were engaged in putting up the wooden planks for raising the fourth floor.

A fire officer, who inspected the concrete mixer, claimed that the quality was far from satisfactory and a Corporation official from the Town and Country Planning wing said that they had not yet given approval for the building. “The applicant Thavasi (40) of Kamatchi Nagar Second Street here had not obtained the licence for construction and prior to that he had raised up to third floor…He had submitted the papers, which do not qualify for permission for construction. This is in violation of rules,” he summed up.

Mayor V. V. Rajan Chellappa, Commissioner Nanthagopal and others inspected the spot. They consoled the bereaved family members and ordered an inquiry

However, a senior official clarified that though stop-work notice was issued some three months ago, the building owner had ignored it. The Sellur police have registered a case against the contractor and the building owner, who have been detained. Further investigation is on.