In a major lapse of public safety, a four-storey building in a government housing society has collapsed in Ahmedabad's Odhav area. At least eight to 10 people are feared trapped inside the debris. The rescue operations are on.
The fire department chief Rajesh Bhatt said that at least two people have been rescued from the debris. At least four fire tenders are at the spot.
"Teams of municipal corporation, state government, National Disaster Response Force and fire brigade are carrying out rescue ops. Five NDRF teams are deployed. Required machinery will be deployed immediately, Gujarat Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja told ANI.
According to authorities, the building was already identified as dangerous and inhabitable. People residing in the building were given notice 24 hours ago to vacate their residences. The city mayor Bijal Patel told India TV that most of the families had vacated their houses, only three or four remained, who are now feared trapped inside.
Talking to India TV, the mayor said that the officials had tried to persuade the families to vacate their houses in the morning as well but they refused to leave despite being provided alternative housing. Twenty-nine out of 32 houses had vacated after the notice, she said.
However, a woman rescued from the collapse site told media that she and her family had been looking for a house to rent since the notice yesterday and were in process of packing their belongings to move when the incident happened.
Several other former residents of the housing project said that they were given notice to move only today despite the fact that there building has also developed cracks.
The question remains that if the authorities knew that the building could collapse anytime then why weren't the families forced to vacate in due time an why was the notice served only 24 hours ago? (This is a developing story last updated at 11:46 IST)
Gujarat: Building in govt housing project collapses in Ahmedabad's Odhav area