Two people died and more than 50 people are feared trapped after an under-construction multi-storey building collapsed in Kumareshwara Nagar in Dharwad district of Karnataka. Police sources confirmed the death of one person. According to police officials at Dharwad Suburban Police Station, the incident occurred at around 3:30 pm on Tuesday evening. Congress leader and former Karnataka Minister Vinay Kulkarni is related to one of the owners of the building.
The source said, "21 people have been rescued so far. It was a four-storey preoccupied under construction building. 1st and second floor were under construction. The ground floor was constructed and rented out to some shops. The owner, Kulkarni's father-in-law Gangadhar Shintri, had obtained a partial completion certificate from the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation. There were around 90 people trapped totally is what the police believe. NDRF team has arrived to step up rescue ops. The police suspect it was a structural defect, which led to the collapse."
Police officials from the station and nearby stations, 10 ambulances, 5 earthmovers and 20 fire officials rushed to the spot as the news of the building collapse spread through the city.
Following the collapse of the building, several people passing by began to help rescue people trapped under the debris. Survivors of the incident were rushed to a nearby hospital while officials continued to look for the other people trapped.
Rajesh, a witness speaking to TV9 claimed that the first two floors of the building was being rented out by shops. "There was a tea shop, a photostat shop, there are 15-20 people trapped underneath. People are still trying to save people. Parts of the building were still being constructed. But still shops were operating in the building,"
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy took to social media to post about the incident. "Shocked to learn about the collapse of an under-construction building in Dharwad. I have instructed the Chief Secretary to supervise rescue operations. I have also directed the CS to send additional resources and expert rescuers by a special flight to Dharwad," he said in a tweet.
Shocked to learn about the collapse of an under-construction building in Dharwad. I have instructed the Chief Secretary to supervise rescue operations. I have also directed the CS to send additional resources and expert rescuers by a special flight to #Dharwad .
â€” H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) March 19, 2019