Taking serious note of the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed the national disaster response force (NDRF) and its state unit to rush to the spot while a team of Indian Army was also pressed into the rescue operations around 9 pm. Deputy CM Brijesh Pathak, urban development minister AK Sharma, along with top officials from the State Disaster Management, fire services, police, and Lucknow Development Authority, were at the site to undertake the rescue operation.
Oxygen via cylinder have been provided to victims trapped inside debris as they were feeling suffocated in breathin… https://t.co/DuCgKcfsYB
— TOI Lucknow News (@TOILucknow) 1674583033000
DGP DS Chauhan, who was supervising the rescue operations at the site, said as per the inputs gathered so far, around 24 people were inside when the building collapsed and 12 of them have been rescued so far. “We have managed to contact one of them and a mobile has been passed on to him for communication. He said personnel from the NDRF and SDRF were trying to breach through the debris passages that had been made from three different points. “The strategy is to make a hole and then through it the team will contact those trapped,” he added.
Principal secretary, home, Sanjay Prasad, who was at the accident site, said: “On the basis of information gathered from the locals and some of those rescued, the assessment is that apart from the 12 persons rescued so far, another five or six people may be trapped under the debris.” DM Suryapal Gangwar said that two residents trapped in the debris were provided Oxygen frm outside as they were feeling suffocated.
Rescue operation underway after a residential building collapsed on Wazir Hasanganj Road in #Lucknow9 people have… https://t.co/gJ9qScl7Ip
— TOI Lucknow News (@TOILucknow) 1674579669000
According to local residents, the building had four floors and a penthouse on the top. Out of 17 flats, 14 were occupied, but families were living in 7-8 of them. Senior Congress leader Amir Haider’s family used to live in the penthouse. While he, his son Abbas Haider and grandson Mustafa had been rescued, his wife and daughter-in-law Uzma Haider were still trapped inside till the filing of this report.
While the rescued were rushed to the Civil Hospital, DyCM Brijesh Pathak directed the administration at KGMU and Lohia Hospital to stay on standby to attend to those who were being rescued from the debris.
The scene at the apartment site was heart-rending as hundreds of people related to those trapped inside had gathered there. Police, however, were not allowing them to go closer to ensure a smooth rescue operation. However, narrow passage of the Wazir Hasan Road lane was hampering the operations.
Army jawans have reached Alaya apartment in #Lucknow to rescue the victims trapped under debris. https://t.co/gLbuWMiW5Z
— TOI Lucknow News (@TOILucknow) 1674578751000
There were reports that a few apartment owners had recently sold off their flats and the new owners were getting some repair work related to sewage done. On Tuesday morning, a new owner had reportedly got a concrete beam in the basement cut to make way for sewage pipes. Locals claim that this could have possibly taken its toll on the structure.
According to initial reports, the building was constructed about 15 years ago and families moved in to occupy the flats from 2018 onwards. The apartment building was said to have been constructed by Yazdan Builders whose under-construction apartment situated at a stone’s throw distance from the accident site was demolished by the authorities as it was being built in violation of the norms and in the absence of necessary permissions and clearances.
One of the residents, 70-year-old Ranjana Awasthi who lived on the third floor of the building along with her daughter Aloka Awasthi and was rescued from the debris, told TOI that she was sitting inside her house when the entire building collapsed within seconds. A visibly shaken Ranjana was taken away by rescued workers thereafter.
While people in the city experienced a mild tremor in the afternoon, the residents of Wazir Hasan Road heard a loud sound of a blast at around 6.45 pm. Shubham, who works in an MNC and resides just next to the apartment, said that a loud noise was heard and the entire structure came down in fraction of seconds.
Another resident Nawab Ali, who resides in another apartment in the same locality added that we all thought it was an earthquake and rushed for safety towards the road.
Lucknow police commissioner SB Shiradkar said that nobody had been found dead so far and those rescued had been sent to the SPM civil hospital for treatment.
Watch Lucknow Building Collapse: ’30-35 families were living in the five-storey residential building’