Delhi

Two killed in Ghazipur landfill collapse, five hurt

A portion of the Ghazipur landfill in east Delhi collapsed on Friday killing two people, including a woman, and injuring five others.

Authorities and locals fear that there might be many more people trapped under the tonnes of garbage, which allegedly fell due to recent heavy rain.

The falling garbage crashed into a canal causing a wave of sludge to wash over a nearby road. Several vehicles that were travelling on the road were pushed into a nearby open drain.

The two deceased were in separate vehicles that were pushed into the water.

Eyewitnesses said the incident occurred around 2.15 p.m. and heard a loud sound as a huge part of the mountain of garbage began to collapse.

A wave of garbage

Eyewitness Rashmi said the falling garbage first crashed over a service lane, which is used by levelling vehicles and excavators, and then filled the canal. The mixture of garbage and water then washed over a public road and pushed several vehicles into a drain.

The family of one of the deceased, Abhishek, said the water rose like a wave and washed away a car, two motor cycles and a scooter. A total of seven people were travelling in the vehicles that were pushed into the drain.

The wave of garbage also broke a boundary wall and damaged some transmission poles. It also flattened the iron grill, which had been put up near the road to prevent vehicles from falling into the drain.

The driver of the car, which fell into the water body, was able to break his side of the window and swim to safety.

Abhishek, who was riding a motorbike, was with his cousin Amit. His other cousin Deepak was on another bike. Both vehicles were pushed into the drain. The scooter was occupied by siblings Rajkumari and Pankaj.

Those living near the drain gathered to rescue the victim and were able to pull out Pankaj, Amit and Deepak.

Massive rescue operation

The search and rescue mission was soon joined by teams from the Delhi Police, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, the National Disaster Response Force, Civil Defence personnel, fire fighters, ambulances and divers.

A couple of hours later, the bodies of Rajkumari (28) and Abhishek (22) were also fished out of the water.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Omvir Singh Bishnoi said a case has been registered against unknown persons.

East Delhi Municipal Corporation, which is responsible for the upkeep of the landfill, blamed rains for the landslide. “We are looking into the incident. An inquiry committee will be set up to see what went wrong. The rescue operations are still on,” said EDMC commissioner Ranvir Singh.

Several locals said that the disaster was waiting to happen as the heavy rain and chemical reactions, such as methane burning, was slowly eroding the base of the mass that came down.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 10:26:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/two-killed-in-ghazipur-landfill-collapse-five-hurt/article19605552.ece

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