Building collapse: 140-hour op ends, toll rises to 19

The debris at the building collapse site in Kaumareshwar Nagar, Dharwad, was completely cleared on Monday. The tragedy claimed 19 lives. DH Photo

The operation launched by the rescue teams including personnel from National Disaster Response force, State Disaster Response Force, Fire and Emergency Services, at the building collapse site at Kumareshwar Nagar in Dharwad, concluded on Monday morning.

It was a non-stop 140-hour operation wherein more than 288 rescue personnel pulled out 19 bodies, and extricated 71 injured persons from the rubble.

A multi-storey under-construction commercial complex located at Kumareshwar Nagar on Belagavi Road had collapsed on March 19.

The operation was stepped up on late on Sunday night with pulling out of three more bodies from the debris.

The deceased have been identified as Vaghu Vithal Jere (37) a mason from Holtikoti, Sahadev Salunke (50) supervisor of the building from Kamakshi Colony in Dharwad, and Navalu Jere (45), another mason from Holtikoti, who were working in the building.

They were trapped in the basement of the building and it took almost seven days for the rescue teams to pull out their bodies.

Based on a clue that three more persons were trapped in the debris, the rescue team launched the operation manually on Sunday evening.

But, even after four hours, they could not trace any survivors. Hence, six earth-movers were deployed to clear the debris.

On Monday morning, three bodies were found in a decomposed condition at the second basement of the building and they were shifted to civil hospital for postmortem, said a rescue officer.

Fire and Emergency Services Department Deputy Inspector General B R Ravikanthe Gowda, who was monitoring the rescue operation said that it was for the first time that a rescue operation lasting over seven days had been conducted.

“The rescue operation was launched with a hope that all those trapped inside the debris are alive, but 19 people died in the building collapse,” he added.

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Building collapse: 140-hour op ends, toll rises to 19

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