A representative of the owner of the land, where three construction workers were buried alive after a portion of a hotel kitchen shed collapsed a day earlier, agreed to pay a compensation of Rs 5. lakh to the families of the three deceased. The settlement was reached at the end of a marathon meeting held before the Revenue Divisional Officer here on Friday.

It was also agreed that Rs. 1 lakh each would be given to two persons with minor injuries and Rs. 3 lakh for another person who sustained a major injury. The total compensation amounted to Rs. 20 lakh, official sources said.

It was assured at the meeting that the compensation would be given in the form of demand drafts to legal heirs of the deceased and the injured in three days.

Since the owner of the land is said to be absconding, his representative attended the meeting. It was also attended by revenue and police officials, besides representatives of Puthiya Tamizhagam, Viduthulai Chiruthaigal Katchi, relatives of the deceased and injured. The settlement was accepted by all, an official said.

Following the settlement, the relatives of the victims agreed to take the bodies.

Earlier development

Earlier, relatives of the three construction workers refused to accept the bodies demanding Rs.10 lakh as compensation to each of the families of victims. They thronged the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital, where the post-mortem formalities were completed on Friday afternoon, but refused to take possession of the bodies. Apart from the compensation for the dead, they demanded Rs.5 lakhs each to the families of the three injured workers. They also demanded government jobs for a member of the families of each victim.

Police officers were also present at the meeting that was held at the office of the Tiruchi RDO.

Meanwhile, the City Police held R. Balasubramanian, the supervisor at the site where the new commercial building was under construction. The police have also named Kamalesh Patel, owner of the site, and Naresh Kumar, the site engineer, as accused in the case. Both are said to be absconding.

Upon receiving complaint from one of the injured – R. Ramesh — the Fort Police booked a case under IPC sections 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repairing buildings), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 304 (II).