Four labourers, including two minors, killed in wall collapse

September 21, 2022 02:02 am | Updated 02:02 am IST - NEW DELHI

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel conducting a rescue operation at Jal Vayu Vihar in Noida on Tuesday, after a portion of a boundary wall of a housing society collapsed.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel conducting a rescue operation at Jal Vayu Vihar in Noida on Tuesday, after a portion of a boundary wall of a housing society collapsed.

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Four construction workers, including two minors, were killed and eight were injured after a portion of a housing society’s boundary wall collapsed at Jal Vayu Vihar in Noida’s Sector 21 on Tuesday morning, the police said.

The labourers were repairing a drain adjacent to the boundary wall around 10 a.m. when it collapsed on them, the police added.

A sub-contractor, Gul Mohammad, who supplied labourers for the job, was detained, a senior police officer said. An FIR has been registered under IPC Sections 304, 337, 338 and Section 14 (1) of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.

The deceased have been identified as Pushpendra Singh, 25, Panna Lal, 25, Amit, 17, and Dharam Veer, 15. 

“Twelve labourers were pulled out of the rubble. Four of them were killed, while others suffered injuries,” Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Noida) Ashutosh Dwivedi told The Hindu.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath condoled the loss of lives in the incident.

“Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the loss of lives in the wall collapse incident in Gautam Budh Nagar. He directed senior officials to rush to the spot and conduct relief work on a war footing,” the Chief Minister’s Office said in a tweet in Hindi.

Police Commissioner Alok Singh, Joint Commissioner Love Kumar, fire chief Arun Kumar Singh and Noida Authority CEO Ritu Maheshwari reached the spot soon after the incident.

“The Jal Vayu Vihar is an old-construction society. The boundary wall was constructed by the society itself was apparently weak,” she said. The work on the drain outside the society was being carried out by a Noida Authority contractor through a tender, she said.

On the contractor being cautioned by locals about the boundary wall was weak, Ms. Maheshwari said the matter will be investigated.

"A joint investigation by police, district administration and Noida Authority will be carried out and if negligence is found on anyone's part, then action will be taken. The contractor was working on the drain and not the boundary wall," she added.

An eyewitness, Jogender, 24, who also worked as a construction worker at the site, lost two of his brothers — Pushpender, 25, and Amit, 18 — in the collapse. “They were young and our family had many expectations from them. We come from economically weaker section of society. We have to struggle to find food for ourselves and then for our families back in Badaun,” Jogender added.

He said Pushpender, the sole breadwinner of his family, is survived by four children and a wife, “who doesn’t know how she will feed the entire family alone,” he said.

Regarding another deceased, Amit, Jogender said that Amit dreamt of working for the Army. “He was preparing for the next recruitment process and joined to work as a construction worker to sustain himself. Everything has ended today,” he said.

Pappu, who was injured in the collapse said that the boundary wall fell on top of him suddenly. “Suddenly, everything turned black. I thought I won’t be able to make it,” Pappu said.

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