The casualties in Tuesday's building collapse incident rose to seven on Wednesday. Two persons were confirmed dead late on Tuesday evening and five bodies were retrieved from under the debris in the day-long operation on Wednesday.
The deceased are Salim Makandar (35) of Hubballi, Ashit Hiremath (28) from Dharwad, his father Mahesh Hiremath (62), Maboobsab Raichur (48), Shivashakti Colony, Hubballi, Mehboobsab Desai (55) of Anand Nagar, Hubballi and Aslam Sheikh (50). The other dead person is yet to be identified.
The operation to rescue those trapped in the debris of the under-construction commercial complex continued overnight and by Wednesday morning, 57 people including three women had been rescued. They were shifted to different hospitals in the twin cities for treatment.
A contingent of 110 personnel of Natural Disaster Response Force arrived in a special flight from Ghaziabad on Tuesday night and joined the team of 45 from Bengaluru in rescue operation. While 28 persons had been rescued till Tuesday night, another 29 were rescued during the night-long operation.
The local police and fire force personnel, who had taken up the rescue operation on Tuesday, left the work to NDRF and assisted them.
The NDRF officials said they had identified the spots in the debris where people could be trapped and had taken up rescue work there. Their priority is to rescue those who are alive.
Considering the magnitude of the tragedy, it will take more time to complete the work of clearing the debris, officials said.
Director General of Police (Fire and Emergency Services) M N Reddy, DIG B R Ravikanthe Gowda and five other officers who arrived from Bengaluru are assisting in the rescue operation.
Regional Commissioner Tushar Girinath visited the spot and reviewed the situation. Being the administrator of the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation, he directed the HDMC officials to seize all documents pertaining to the building and send the material used for the construction for quality check to the laboratory.
FIR against 4 owners
The police filed an FIR under section 304 of IPC against the four owners of the building on Tuesday night. Police Commissioner M N Nagaraj said a special team will arrest those named as accused in the FIR soon.
The building is owned by Renukadevi Construction which has four partners - Basavaraj Demappa Nigadi of Bharatinagar of Dharwad, Gangappa Shivappa Shintri of Savadatti, Mahabaleshwar Shivappa Puradagudi of Savadatti and Ravi Basavaraj Sabarad of Srinagar, Dharwad.
Shintri is the father in-law of former minister Vinay Kulkarni.