Two buildings collapse in Surat, 4 rescued

Two buildings collapse in Surat, 4 rescued

Firefighters and people try to clear the debris of the 4-floor government building which collapsed in Ahmedabad on Sunday. PTI

Four people were rescued even as some were feared trapped after two building blocks constructed under a government housing scheme nearly two decades ago collapsed in Odhav locality on Sunday, officials said.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the local fire brigade were deployed to rescue people from the debris of the two blocks, each four-storeyed, said Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja.

He said these teams were using modern equipment for the rescue operation.

"The blocks were vacated yesterday by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation officials after it appeared that the building might collapse any time. But a few residents came back today and were inside the building when it collapsed," Jadeja said.

Jadeja said it was likely that 8-10 people were trapped under the debris but added that the exact number of those trapped was still not known.

AMC Assistant Chief Fire Officer Rajesh Bhatt said four people had been rescued so far.

"Some residents had returned to the building today due to rains despite them AMC officials asking people to vacate their houses," said Ahmedabad Mayor Bijal Patel.

AMC Commissioner Vijay Nehra said two blocks of the building of the government colony, each having around 150 residents, collapsed completely.

"After noticing damage, we got the buildings vacated yesterday. Around 300 people had vacated, but some of the residents returned. Some of them are still trapped," Nehra said.

Gujarat Chief minister Vijay Rupani directed the district collector to take the services of the NDRF to evacuate the trapped people, a government official said.