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Updated: July 3, 2014 03:45 IST

Rescue operations will be over in two days: NDRF

P. Oppili
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S.P. Selvan, deputy inspector general, NDRF, South Zone, said chances of finding survivors under the debris were slim hereafter — Photo: G. Krishnaswamy
The Hindu S.P. Selvan, deputy inspector general, NDRF, South Zone, said chances of finding survivors under the debris were slim hereafter — Photo: G. Krishnaswamy

This is the third major rescue operation for the NDRF South Zone team after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and the Thane cyclone in 2011.

Rescue operations at the site of the building collapse in Moulivakkam, near Porur, would be completed in a day or two, said S.P. Selvan, deputy inspector general, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), South Zone, said on Wednesday.

Talking to The Hindu at the site, Mr. Selvan said the area had been divided into sections. NDRF team members had reached the ground level in the first section of the site on Tuesday. Then the team had moved towards the second — the rear portion of the building. Initially, the works here were slowed due to inaccessibility, as there were adjoining buildings. Now, access has been created. However, debris from the basement of the building is yet to be cleared, he said.

As far as the rear of the building is concerned, the priority is to clear the debris. However, the NDRF team is not moving heavy machinery there immediately. Clearing debris from the site had posed a major challenge to the team. Chances of finding survivors under the debris were slim hereafter, he said.

Third major rescue operation

A total of 10 NDRF personnel were working at the site in three shifts. Each team consisted of 38 persons. Another 20 persons were involved in administrative work for those working on the site. If a person was spotted in the debris, the team forewent its breaks and worked non-stop till recovery, he said. Otherwise, they took meal breaks.

This is the third major rescue operation for the NDRF South Zone team after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and the Thane cyclone in 2011. The NDRF South Zone has four battalions — Guntur in Seemandhra, covering Andhra Pradesh; Pune, covering both Maharashtra and Goa; Mundali, in Bhubaneshwar. Odisha; and Arakkonnam in Tamil Nadu.

When asked about the State government’s response, Mr. Selvan said it had reacted in a massive way. “They provided us all the required support and help, and their response was very good,” he added.

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