Almost 20 people were injured, and several critically, after the scaffolding of an under-construction building in Kandachavadi collapsed in Chennai. The scaffolding and iron girders of the generator room caved in at this site on Old Mahabalipuram Road in Chennai. A fire service rescue operation is underway, no casualties have been reported so far. At the time of writing this copy, 23 people had been rescued from the debris, by a 60 member rescue team of the Fire and Rescue Service Department and the police force.
The building, located opposite to SP Infocity on MGR Salai, is that of a new hospital that was coming up in the area.
Four fire engines and 10 ambulances have been pressed into service. Two units of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 30 members of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) too are at the site aiding rescue operations.
Speaking to TNM, Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar said, "Many people have been rescued so far and out of them five are in critical condition. It is said that more than 20 people were working in the site. The main structure is safe."
Visuals showed firefighters looking around for trapped persons in the dark with the help of torches. Cement pillars had collapsed and were lying on the ground.
Even as police officers stood guard around the site of the incident, fire servicemen and locals helped to rescue those trapped inside with the help of makeshift rope ladders.
Speaking to the media at the spot, Kanchipuram District Collector, Ponnaiyah said, "17 workers have been rescued out of which five have head injuries."
Minister Udhayakumar also said that the cause of the accident is still not known yet.
"Construction workers are supposed to be wearing safety equipment and adhere to the requirements. Strict action will be taken against the construction company that is building this hospital," he added.
Rescuers say that they will clear the entire debris to ensure no one is trapped underneath.
In 2014, one of the twin 11-storey buildings under construction in Mugalivakkam collapsed, killing 61 people and injuring several others. Justice R Regupathy commission, which was formed after the incident to inquire into it, made a series of recommendations for the construction industry. Penal provisions, directing the construction firms to deposit a sum of amount in fixed deposit and a reconstitution of CMDA formed a part of the recommendations made by the commission. The other building in the site was destroyed by the Chennai Corporation in 2016 using implosion technology.