Construction News: 11 Dead in Building Collapse in Southern India

Yet another tragic building collapse has taken place in India’s southern city of Chennai, this time claiming the lives of at least 11 people.

The collapse which took place on Saturday is thought to have been the result of heavy rains which ravaged the area however shoddy building standards are known to prevail in the developing country.

Researchers were still searching for survivors on Monday after the 11 storey high residential block collapsed, killing at least 11 people and trapping dozens more.

According to media reports the building was still under construction. Shockingly this is the second building collapse to have occurred in a period of one day.

Another building collapse took place in the country’s capital city of New Delhi just a little earlier in the day. That accident resulted in the death of 11 people including 5 children.

The following excerpt from an article on explains further:

1404044790217.jpg-620x349The partly-built tower, about 20 kilometres from Chennai in Tamil Nadu state, crushed mostly labourers at the site who had gone inside it to shelter from the rain.

Senior police officer Karuna Sagar told AFP that 11 bodies had been pulled from the wreckage as of Sunday afternoon while 20 people had been rescued and were being treated in hospital.

He said police had detained several people for questioning, including the builder and construction engineers.

Sagar said witnesses had described hearing a loud bang, with the building collapsing after around 50 workers went inside it to seek shelter.

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Police fear that dozens more people may still be trapped in the rubble. Scores of people joined in the rescue efforts, sifting through debris of twisted steel, mangled scaffolding and crushed concrete armed mostly with shovels, searching for survivors.

In the last year apparently at least 100 people have been killed in building collapses in the country where cutting corners has been blamed for shoddy, compromised construction work.

Those in charge of the search operations expected it to take days to find all those trapped in the rubble. Disaster management official leading the search, S.P.Selvan was quoted as saying:

“There is no clarity on the number of people trapped,” S. P. Selvan, a senior officer from the National Disaster Response Force, told reporters in Chennai, according to the Press Trust of India.

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Partly constructed buildings are particularly susceptible to collapses caused by heavy rains, even here in Oz we have seen structures collapse because of heavy rain and other adverse weather conditions such as gale force winds. However India has been criticised for their lax regulations and the leniency on building contractors who cut costs in order to provide housing for the country’s growing population at the lowest possible price. It is common for contractors throughout the country to source substandard materials and even add unauthorised extra floors to accommodate more people. The article goes on to explain:

In September last year more than 50 people were crushed to death when a five-storey building collapsed in India’s financial capital of Mumbai on the west coast.

“We will look into all aspects of planning permission and quality of construction, the structural aspect and the soil condition and see what’s wrong,” Sagar told the NDTV television station.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram announced compensation of 200,000 rupees ($3000) for the families of the dead and 50,000 rupees for those injured.

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