Search on for 15 people feared trapped in debris

Eleven workers were killed and 30 injured when an under-construction five-storeyed building at Chaudi in Canacona, 75 km from here, collapsed on Saturday afternoon. At least 15 persons were feared trapped in the debris.

Nine bodies were removed from the rubble, while 21 workers were rescued by the Army and civilians who were working jointly, State officials said late at night. Fire brigade personnel were searching through the night for survivors in the debris of Ruby Residency.

People were working on all floors when the building came down. The workers were about to take a break for lunch.

As almost four floors collapsed completely, rescue work was becoming tough, police said. They said the workers were migrants from different parts of the country. Several of them were from the tribal villages of Gaodongrim and Khotigao in Goa. The police are still trying to identify the dead.

The injured were rushed to the state-owned Hospicio Hospital in Margao, while three, who were critical, have been shifted to the Goa Medical College hospital at Bambolim in north Goa.

After returning from the site of the tragedy, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar promised a thorough inquiry into the “faulty design and poor construction” of the building.

An IIT engineering graduate himself, Mr. Parrikar explained that the building collapsed as one of its pillars, raised on a paddyfield, sank. “This is total negligence and such criminals will not be spared.”

He said the Canacona police had filed a criminal complaint against Bharat Developers (the builders), the contractor, the structural engineer as well as the Canacona Municipal Engineer.

Inquiries in the village revealed that the seven-year-old project was opposed by the locals on environmental and ecological grounds.