Little efforts to verify No. of trapped workers, 45 pulled out, 17 dead

GOANEWS DESK, CANACONA | 06 January 2014 11:08 IST

Altogether 45 persons trapped inside, including 17 dead bodies, have been recovered so far from the collapsed building at Canacona. However, hardly any efforts are being made by the authorities to verify how many people are still trapped inside.

The rescue work, which was stopped for a while yesterday evening due to fear of adjoining building collapsing, started later in the night.

The fire brigade, military personnel and the Pune-based disaster management rescue force recovered three more bodies by midnight. The dead bodies are still not being identified.

As per the information supplied by locals, said sports minister Ramesh Tawadkar, at least four more persons from Canacona are still trapped inside.

Leader of the Jharkhand workers has revealed that six of their colleagues are missing and could have been trapped inside.

While this takes the whole number to 55, authorities at the site are completely clueless about the number of workers trapped inside.

“We cannot get the exact number since the builder as well as the contractor is absconding”, South Goa collector Venecio Furtado told a team of reporters.

However, he was speechless when asked why the authorities did not break open two offices of the builders in the complex of Ruby Residency to verify the records of workers working at the site.

Furtado even went to the extent of taking shield of the criminal complaint being filed at the police station, stating that they cannot break open the offices since police are investigating into the case.

He however could not state in what way the case of criminal negligence in the building collapse is connected to finding out the number of people trapped inside.

“We have told the labour commissioner to find out about these details”, said Furtado, now pushing the burden on yet another department.

He also claimed that efforts were being made to verify the number of workers working at the site, but proved futile, without telling what efforts were made.

Meanwhile, a dog squad sent inside the debris last night, said Fire Brigade director Ashok Menon, has indicated that some bodies are lying inside.

“We will speed up the work once we get a green signal from the Goa Engineering College experts about the safety while clearing the debris”, he said.

The GEC team, which took samples of the debris yesterday, is expected to tell the state of the adjoining two buildings, which have already developed cracks.

The rescue teams fear that the two adjoining buildings of the same block may also collapse once the debris is removed, thus endangering lives of the rescue team.

“We are ready with the heavy machinery and waiting for the clearance”, said Menon.

The whole tragedy has thus brought another bitter fact to the light that no records of construction workers are maintained by the contractor and no authority has a check over it. 

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