Goa suspends rescue work at building collapse site

The Goa government on Monday stopped rescue operations at the site of a building collapse, which claimed 17 lives so far, in Cancona town after two adjacent buildings tilted precariously.

The government formed a three-member committee to probe the incident. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said the rescue operations were withdrawn after two adjacent buildings on the site tilted precariously with one of them developing cracks due to constant drilling of the debris.

“I issued directions to the rescuers to pull out from the site. If the adjacent buildings had collapsed, there would have been more casualties,” Parrikar said.

“Mostly, we will demolish the adjacent building before proceeding with the clearing of the debris,” he said.   Work cannot be bracketed under “rescue” because there was a faint possibility of finding any more survivors.

The state government has also formed a three-member committee headed by a retired IAS officer V K Jha to probe the cause of the collapse and also for future action to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

Parrikar, however, ruled out a judicial probe into the matter at this moment. He said the collapsed building was given the occupancy certificate on December 26 last year by local authorities without obtaining Structural Stability Certificate.

 The Goa police have already filed a case against three builders—Jaideep Saigal, Pradeepsingh Birring and Vishwas Desai—all of whom are still untraceable, Parrikar said.

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