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One killed, 5 hurt in building collapse

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Shaky foundations: The site where a portion of a tourist home building collapsed at Thampanoor in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.
Shaky foundations: The site where a portion of a tourist home building collapsed at Thampanoor in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

Staff Reporter

Section of 80-year-old tourist home caves in

The guests were not in their rooms at the time

Nine workers ran to safety before being caught in the debris

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: One person was killed and five were injured when a section of an 80-year-old four-storey tourist home collapsed near the busy Thampanoor area here on Monday.

Rescue operations that began soon after the incident at 3.30 p.m. were still continuing to extricate those trapped in the debris.

The rescue team, comprising the police, Fire and Rescue Services, Army and the Central Industrial Security Force, fears that more people are trapped inside.

Not identified

The deceased has not been identified yet. Of the injured, Sisupalan (55) of Marayamuttom, Natish (35) of Nagercoil, Gopal (20) from Assam and Sunil Kumar (37) of Thaikottukonam, were shifted to the medical college hospital here.

Hospital sources said they had sustained spinal and orthopaedic injuries. Unni of Dhanuvachapuram was admitted to the General Hospital here with minor injuries.

A section of the Udupi Sreenivas-Sreevas tourist home complex, located in between the Sreekumar-SreeVisakh cinema halls and Kerala Tourism Development Corporation’s Hotel Chaitham, collapsed when renovation work was on.

The renovation of the Udupi Sreenivias section of the tourist home complex, taken on lease by Ramesh of Nagercoil, was entrusted to Ideal Construction three months ago.

According to eyewitness accounts, nine labourers from Assam and eight local labourers were at the site when the accident occurred. Seven from Assam and two local workers ran for safety on hearing the sound of the roof coming down.

The guests in the tourist home were on sight-seeing and shopping at the time of the accident.

Demolition

The building collapsed reportedly after the pillars and the walls of the ground floor were demolished to create a spacious restaurant as part of the renovation.

The roof of the ground floor was supported only with GI pipes and this might have led to the collapse, the police said.

The police and Fire and Rescue Services personnel who rushed to the spot around 3.40 p.m. rescued one person from the second floor and evacuated the cine-goers from the adjacent cinemas. The remaining portion of the building was declared ‘unsafe.’

The rescue team was unable to move amid cutters, earthmovers and heavy equipment.

Besides, the front portion of the building was on the verge of collapse and the entry to the complex was narrow.

Ministers, legislators and top police officers are supervising the rescue work.

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