100 hours on, rescue ops reaches final stage

Rescue operations reached the final stage, 100 hours after they started, at the spot where a multi-storey commercial complex came crashing down in the city.

The operations are likely to be completed on Sunday. In the day-long operation on Saturday, the rescue team could not find any survivor.

The NDRF team, which is clearing the debris and looking for survivors, said they were not likely to find any dead body as they had reached the basement and if there was any dead body it would have been highly decomposed after five days and would have given out a foul smell.

An NDRF officer at the site told DH that Honnamma, who was rescued on Friday evening, had said more persons were stuck in the debris.

“Though she might have uttered this in a state of shock, we have taken her version seriously and have continued the operation. The sniffer dogs would have easily pointed to the spots, if there are bodies,” he said.

Meanwhile, the relatives of some missing persons are still hoping that they will be rescued. According to a complaint with the police, Vaghu Vithal Jere (37) from Holtikoti, Sahadev Salunke (50) from Kamakshi Colony, Dharwad, Veerappa Hadapad (50) of Turukara Sheegihalli, Navalu Jere of Kalghatgi and Dhakalu Dadu Kokre (45) are missing. The ministers who landed in Hubballi on Saturday morning to attend the funeral of Municipal Administration Minister C S Shivalli made a beeline to the crash site. Urban Development Minister U T Khader told reporters that based on the preliminary report, seven officials from the town planning cell of Hubballi-Dharwad Mahanagara Palike had been suspended, holding them responsible for negligence.

Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and Revenue Minister R V Deshpande too visited the site.

The police brought architect of the building Vivek Pawar to the crash site and conducted mahajar. Pawar was arrested from Kolhapur on Thursday. Four owners of the building who have surrendered are in police custody.

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