The police on Sunday commenced investigation into the death of six construction labourers near Gummidipoondi after the collapse of a compound wall of a factory on Saturday night during the rains. Officials of the directorate of industrial safety and health also inspected the accident spot.
The police have registered cases under three sections – 304 clause 2 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repairing buildings).
They are yet to arrest the guilty. Two officials from the directorate of industrial safety and health, who visited the spot, said that they will be conducting an enquiry into the accident.
Six men, all construction workers, were killed and nine others injured when a portion of a compound wall collapsed on two thatched huts following heavy rain on Saturday at Chinnapuliyur village near Gummidipoondi in Tiruvallur district.
The rain had made the red mud soft. “This is suspected to have caused the collapse of the wall,” said a K. Sekar, inspector of Gummidipoondi police station.
The victims who worked in the plastic manufacturing factory were staying in the huts built adjacent to the factory’s compound.
“We were having our dinner around 8 p.m. and there was no electricity. There was heavy rain and thunder. We heard a creaking noise and the next second, the wall collapsed,” said Sonu Kumar (20), a native of Jharkand who was in the hut at the time of the accident.
B. Umesh, a native of Uttar Pradesh, who was admitted to the Stanley government hospital, said that his cousin Papu, who was staying with him in the hut, had died. “The beams fell on our chest and we could not even shout for help. Some of our roommates, who had escaped unhurt, informed the security officials who then rushed to our rescue,” he said.
One of the security personnel in the factory said that they had finished dinner at 8 p.m. “Due to the noise of the rain, we did not hear the sound of the wall crashing down on the huts. We found out only after the workers came and told us,” said the guard.