Fourteen people, including Army personnel, were killed after a multi-storey building collapsed in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan, around 45 km from capital Shimla, on Sunday.
The building housing a small eatery and a small guest house collapsed following heavy rains on Sunday afternoon when 30 Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) of Assam Rifles, all from the nearby Dagshai cantonment, were eating lunch there.
The 28 people who were rescued comprised 17 soldiers and 11 civilians. The dead also included the building owner’s wife.
A case of negligence has been registered against the restaurant owner under the Indian Penal Code. The building collapsed due to heavy rains in the area.
The Deputy Commissioner said first the fourth floor of the building collapsed. Then the entire building caved in. Locals blamed unscientific construction methods and violations in the granting of construction-sanction for the building collapse.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, who was at the site to review the damage, told news agency ANI: “It is very unfortunate. Rescue operation was started immediately. Orders have been given to investigate the cause of the collapse. As per information received till now, the building structure was not as per specifications.”
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) official Ajay Verma, who is involved in the rescue operations, said the bodies retrieved from the debris were badly crushed.
The entire stretch from Parwanoo to Solan has become a permanent landslide zone. The risk of driving is aggravated after dusk, said a commuter, according to IANS.