Govt orders judicial probe

Building collapse: 20 still missing, owner a murder accused

The Delhi government, meanwhile, has ordered a judicial probe. Former Delhi High Court Judge Lokeshwar Prashad would hold the probe and submit his report within 90 days, a government statement on Wednesday said.

The building, inhabited by migrant families from Bihar and West Bengal and located in the congested Lalita Park locality near the Yamuna river, collapsed around 8:15 pm on Monday.

The death toll has gone up to 67 and over 90 people have been injured in the tragedy.
The owner of the building Amrit Pal Singh, who was arrested was produced before Karkardooma court here on Wednesday, was remanded to two days’ police custody.
Singh is charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder for the deaths caused by the building collapse. According to the police, he has 25 more cases against him, including of murder, robbery and dacoity.

Taking cue from the building collapse, the Delhi Municipal Corporation has given a 24-hour evacuation notice to 38 buildings in the neighbourhood, deemed illegal. But no arrangements have been so far announced of any alternate arrangements for the people to be dislocated.

Meanwhile, unexpected showers slowed down debris clearance at the site where hope of finding more survivors was fading.

“The rains have affected the pace. More than that, we are not going that quick in breaking the slabs because they support the adjoining buildings. If we go fast, it may result in damage to other buildings,” R C Sharma, director of the Delhi Fire Services, said.
He said that the debris removal operations were nearing its end. “Till the last rubble is removed, we cannot say that there is no one trapped there. We have to see whether there is anyone trapped inside the basement.”

Anxious relatives continued to pour into the hospital and huddled in front of the list of survivors, scanning to find some familiar names.

Photographs of unidentified bodies were displayed in hospitals for relatives to identify them. Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at hospitals where relatives poured to identify the victims.

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