National

At least 15 people killed in a wall collapse in Pune

At least 15 people killed in a 60-feet wall collapse in Pune

At least 15 people, mostly hailing from West Bengal and Bihar, were killed and four others injured when a compound wall of a housing society collapsed here in Maharashtra early on Saturday, officials said.

A portion of the nearly 15-feet compound wall of the society collapsed on shanties located at its base at Kondhwa in Pune. The makeshift shelters were set up for labourers working for an under-construction residential project located downward where excavation work was underway.

According to the police, a portion of the 12 to 15-feet-high wall collapsed between 1.30 and 1.45 am.

Pune had received 73.1 mm of rain on Friday, the second highest rainfall in June since 2010.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered the Pune Collector to conduct a detailed probe into the incident in Kondwa as dramatic videos on social media showed cars lined up next to the structure nose-dive. He also announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the kin of the deceased.

The victims identified are mostly labourers working on the building sites — Sunil Singh, Sonali Das, Bhima Das, Deepan Sharma, Alok Verma, Mohan Sharma, Sangeeta Devi, Neeta, Avdhesh Singh, Aman Sharma, Ravi Sharma, Ajit Sharma, Rahul Sharma, Laxmikant Sahani, Ovi Das.

On the probable cause behind the incident, Pune Municipal Corporation commissioner Saurabh Rao said prima facie, the soil may have loosened due to heavy rain coupled with the excavation work that was carried out “irresponsibly” close to the retaining wall of the housing society. A five-member committee has been set up to probe the incident, he added. It will comprise an additional collector, officials of Building Permission department of the municipal corporation, labour department and an independent structural expert from the College of Engineering.

“The committee will submit its report in the next seven days, and action will be taken against those responsible for the mishap as per findings of the report,” he said.