Chennai building collapse toll mounts to 34; search will continue today

Four persons were pulled out alive from the debris on the fourth day of rescue operations at the building collapse site at Moulivakkam, near Porur, on Tuesday. The death toll went up to 34 as seven more bodies were recovered.

About 72 hours after the incident, a 26-year-old construction worker from Odisha was pulled out alive amid cheers. Vikas Singh Pan emerged breathing and was immediately administered first aid. He was rushed to Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre.

Earlier, three others were pulled out alive. The first to be rescued was Suka Mahesh (23) of Andhra Pradesh around 5.50 a.m. Less than two hours later, rescue workers found Dhanasurya (30) of Andhra Pradesh. Senthil Kumar (23) of Virudhunagar was rescued at 7.55 a.m. Jayalakshmi (35), who was pulled out three hours later died on the way to hospital. Rescue workers wore masks after a foul smell began emanating from the site. A sanitary worker sprayed disinfectants.

The NDRF team worked even after dark on Tuesday. Nearly 400 workers scoured the site for survivors. Half a dozen earthmovers have been deployed at the spot.

(Additional reporting by T. Madhavan)

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