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Building collapse: 5 dead; Delhi govt orders probe


New Delhi:  Body of a nine-year-old girl was today pulled out of the debris, taking the death toll in the west Delhi building collapse to five, even as the AAP government and the BJP-ruled civic body engaged in a blame game over the issue.

“Body of a girl, who was trapped in the debris of the collapsed building was pulled out this afternoon. The victim has been identified as Aakanksha (9),” a senior police official said.

“No one else is fear trapped in the debris now but the rescue operation was still going,” he added.

50-year-old Om Prakash had succumbed to his injuries earlier today during his treatment following the mishap last night in Vishnu Garden area of west Delhi that falls under the West Zone of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC).

The three other deceased have been identified as Sadma (20) (30), Beena (15) and Sarbati (33), while eight other persons were also injured in the incident, according to area district administration.

While two of them have suffered minor injuries, six have been injured seriously, and four of them have been referred to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital for further treatment, it said in statement.

Delhi government has ordered an inquiry into the incident, and accused the BJP-led SDMC of failing to ensure compliance with safety standards, charges denied by the civic body.

“People have told me that there was construction going on and the entire building has collapsed on one side,” Delhi PWD Minister Satyendera Jain claimed.

“Whatever construction work was going on, MCD had full responsibility to stop it, which they should have done… The government has ordered an investigation, to be done by the DM of the area, and the report will be submitted within seven days,” he said, adding, “strict action will be taken against the culprits”.

Meanwhile, DCP (West Delhi), Pushpendra Kumar, said that an FIR “under Section 304 of IPC (causing death by negligence) has been registered against unknown persons in connection with the wall collapse”.

Even as the AAP dispensation held the civic body responsible for the tragedy, SDMC refuted the allegations and claimed it was “seepage in the sewer line” that had “weakened” the foundation of the building, leading to its collapse.

According to SDMC, the building was 25 years old and “no buildings laws were violated” as alleged by AAP.

“A sewer line was laid in the area about it three months ago; seepage in it weakened the foundation of the building, which led to the collapse,” a senior SDMC official claimed.

Senior BJP leader and South Delhi Mayor Subhash Arya, who visited the accident site this morning along with other senior officials of SDMC has countered the allegation and blamed the AAP MLAs over the incident.

“Local AAP MLAs stop municipal officials from taking regular actions against unauthorised constructions, when they visit the area,” Arya alleged.

The area district magistrate has also announced compensation for the victims as per the government norms.

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