Dharwad, Mar 21: The death toll in the collapse of a under construction multi-story building touched in this city on Tuesday rose to nine, even as father-in-law of former Karnataka Minister Vinaya Kulkarni was arrested by the police in connection with the mishap.
Police said that in all 65 people were rescued so far by various agencies working round the clock since the mishap took place on March 19. Today morning two more bodies were recovered by rescue workers which included members from NDRF and Karnataka Fire Force.
Still about 16 people are feared trapped under the debris. Rescue operation by using JCBs and drilling thick concrete walls is continuing, fire force officials said.
Altaf, who had miraculous escape after spending more than 38 hours under the debris, said that he was working in a shop in the second floor, and had come to ground floor when the mishap took place. "I had to spend without water or proper air circulation. I don't know I came out alive. Despite I was shouting no body could hear me as I was caught on the ground floor.
It was stated that 12 girls, who had come to Cyber Cafe to apply for Railway jobs online, were caught under the debris. Deputy Commissioner Deepa Cholan, who is supervising the rescue operation, said that the girls were provided glucose and water by rescuers on the second day after hearing their shouting for help. However, as the time passed there was concern as rescuers heard no sound from the girls.
There were 60 shops in the ground and first floor of the building which was operating while the second and third floor was under construction.
More than 110 personnel of Natural Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have arrived by special flight from Ghaziabad on March 19 to join hands with a team of 45 from Bengaluru.
Police have filed FIR s against 4 partners -- Basavaraj Demappa Nigadi, Gangappa Shivappa, Shintri, Mahabaleshwar Shivappa Puradagudi, Ravi Basavaraj Sabarad. Gangappa Shivappa Shintri, father in-law of Karnataka Minister Vinaya Kulkarni, were arrested and others are absconding. They were jointly holding the ownership of the building.
Police said that the rescue operation will continuing to bring out those who are caught under debris. (UNI)