With two more bodies recovered from the collapsed multi-storeyed building in Gandhi Nagar locality in the city, the death toll has risen to 22, since the rescue operations were launched on January 26.

Meanwhile, the demolition of the collapsed apartment was under progress. Around 90 per cent of the building had been razed with the help of a concrete cutting machine, and several excavators were pressed into service to remove the debris to help search operations and to retrieve the bodies.

“The manner in which the multi-storeyed building collapsed is called as the ‘pancake’ situation and the chances of survival of those trapped in it is very remote. Eight days have passed since the collapse and we apprehend that only bodies will be retrieved,” Amrinder Kumar, Inspector of National Disaster Rescue Force, Vth Battalion, Pune, told The Hindu.

According to him, the rescue teams were finding it very difficult to undertake search and rescue operations because of the debris and broken concrete beams that were an obstruction. “Our team is trained to take up rescue operations. In Bellary, it is a different type of situation and we have gained new experience, which would be used in other similar disasters,” he said. The body of Balakrishna Murthy, a security guard, was retrieved this afternoon and another body was taken out in the evening. Still around six to eight bodies are feared to be trapped.

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