Around a dozen people who were trapped after a four-storey residential building collapsed in Lucknow’s Hazratganj on Tuesday have been rescued and a search is on for others, officials said here.
An Army team has also arrived at the spot, they said.
Uttar Pradesh DGP D S Chauhan, who was at the site, said, “Around 12 people have been rescued. This is the hour of patience, not the time to rush because when you are cutting a building, it should not create any other problem. Rescue work is being carried out in a very scientific way, and I am confident that those who are trapped inside (under the debris) will be saved.” Asked what may have caused the collapse, Chauhan said, “The reasons will be known when the experts and the police carry out their investigations. As of now, as per our assumption, which is based on feedback from family members, around five-seven people are still inside (the debris).” The DGP added that the rescue operations will continue for another 12 hours.
District Magistrate Suryapal Gangwar said NDRF and SDRF teams are engaged in rescue operations. “So far, 11 people have been rescued, and five more are possibly trapped. As per the clues obtained from the site of the collapse, the NDRF and SDRF teams are cutting the walls, and after cutting the walls, (trapped) people will be rescued.” “Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is keeping a watch on the rescue operations. The defence minister has also given instructions. An Army team has arrived here for rescue work,” he added.
Asked if the building collapse may have been caused by an earthquake earlier in the day, he said, “This is not the right time to deliberate on the reasons. At present, the rescue operation is going on.” He added that contact has been established with two people who are trapped under the debris and oxygen supply has been arranged for them.
“All the people who have been rescued are safe and under stable treatment. Seven rescued people were sent to Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Civil Hospital,” a police official said at the spot of the incident.
Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak, who earlier talked about the death of three people in the incident, retracted his comment.
Talking to PTI, he said there were initial reports of three people in unconscious condition and were feared dead.
“But now information is coming that nobody is dead. Those rescued from the building have been moved to hospitals,” Pathak said.
“The rescue operation is going on. NDRF-SDRF personnel have arrived at the spot. Police jawans and fire brigade personnel have also arrived,” he said.
The Lucknow DM said local people informed the authorities that some work was going on in the basement of the building.
A 5.9-magnitude earthquake jolted the remote mountainous districts in western Nepal on Tuesday, killing one person and damaging dozens of houses in the region, Nepalese officials had said.
Meteorological department sources here, when contacted, said that the depth of the earthquake was 10 kilometres, and its distance was 294 kilometres NNE (North North-East) from Lucknow.
Meanwhile, Adityanath directed officials to provide adequate treatment to the injured.
Directions have also been issued to hospitals to stay alert.
Pathak further said that the four-storey building had around 12 flats, out of which nine had occupants.
Many senior civil and police officials, including Principal Secretary to the chief minister Sanjay Prasad and DGP D S Chauhan are on the spot.