Another labourer at building site escapes with injuries

A construction worker was buried alive and another was injured when the earth caved in at a construction site at Kammanahalli here on Tuesday.

The police identified the deceased as Bharath (26), native of West Bengal, and the injured one as Birbal, native of Jharkhand.

Bharath and Birbal were working on a site where a retaining wall was being constructed for the basement of an apartment complex on 4,400 sq. ft. area. A 12-foot trench was dug up for the construction of the basement of the apartment complex. Only the retaining wall had been built and the two young men were removing the centring material placed between the retaining wall and the adjacent site when the earth from 12 ft above fell on them. Bharath was buried alive in the debris that comprised not just the earth but also the metal rods and other construction material.

Birbal was rescued but sustained injuries, and is undergoing treatment at hospital.

When the incident occurred at around 9.30 a.m., one of the first persons to rush to help was a welding shop employee, Anand, who brought metal cutters to help extricate Birbal from the debris. When the Fire and Emergency Services personnel reached the spot with two fire engines, they saw Bharath’s head and a hand jutting outside the debris while the rest of his body was buried. According to them, he was pleading to be rescued. But in the next few minutes, some more earth caved in and only his hand was seen jutting out of the soil.

Complex operation

Chief Fire Officer K.U. Ramesh, who supervised the rescue operation, said: “It was a complex operation. The loose soil fell from a height of 12 feet and the cascading soil bending the iron rods and the body was caught in the mangled metal.”

“We believed we could save Bharath and tried to push oxygen mask to help him breathe, but we did not succeed in saving him,” Mr. Ramesh said.

It took over six hours for the Fire and Emergency Services personnel to retrieve the body of Bharath from the debris.

There were eight other workers on the site, but they fled from the scene soon after the incident. The police are trying to locate them to get the first-hand account of the accident.

According to BBMP officials, the land is owned by three persons who started work on an apartment complex comprising basement and three floors.

The owners of the land had taken needed approvals from authorities concerned and soil testing also had been done, a BBMP official said, adding that the accident occurred due to the negligence of the owner and the builders. One of the owners, M. Jayaprakash, said it was an unfortunate that the incident took place though adequate precautions had been taken for the safety of workers.


Five construction workers buried aliveApril 13, 2012

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