13 Army personnel were among the 14 people killed after a four-storey building collapsed in Himachal Pradesh, police said on Monday. The incident was reported from Solan district of the state on Sunday, which also left many others injured.
The building, located on the Nahan-Kumarhatti road, housed a restaurant and collapsed on Sunday evening after heavy showers, they said.
According to news agency ANI, nearly 17 Army personnel and 11 civilians were rescued so far. The bodies of six army men and a civilian have been extricated so far from the debris.
At least seven persons are still feared trapped under the debris, Solan sub-divisional magistrate Rohit Rathore said.
Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur visited the site of building collapse in Solan early Monday and took stock of the situation.
Expressing grief over the casualties, the chief minister said orders to investigate the cause of building collapse have been given.
"It is very unfortunate. Rescue operation was started immediately. Orders have been given to investigate the cause of the collapse. As per info received till now, the building structure was not as per specifications," Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said.
According to Solan Deputy Commissioner (DC) KC Chaman, at least 42 people were trapped under the rubble of the collapsed building of which 28 including 17 Army personnel and 11 civilians, have been rescued.
The Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police initially jointly carried out the rescue operation.
Subsequently, two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams including one each from Haryana’s Panchkula and Shimla’s Sunni reached on Sunday night at the spot to carry out the rescue work, Director cum Special Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management, DC Rana said.
The third NDRF team reached from Panchkula joined the rescue operation on Monday morning, he added.
The Army personnel from nearby Dagshai cantonment had reportedly gone for lunch at the restaurant.
Expressing grief, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has ordered an inquiry into the incident, an official spokesperson said, adding that he would visit Solan district to take stock of the rescue work and enquired about the condition of the injured on today morning.
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