Sambhal tragedy toll rises to 14, CM orders probe

| | Lucknow
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Sambhal tragedy toll rises to 14, CM orders probe

Saturday, 18 March 2023 | PNS | Lucknow

Fourteen labourers have died so far in the Sambhal tragedy where the roof of a cold storage collapsed on workers on Thursday as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the injured on Friday and formed a committee to probe the reasons behind the tragedy.

Twenty-four people were pulled out of the rubble of the collapsed structure on Indira Road under Chandausi police station limits and 14 of them died, Deputy Inspector General of Police Shalabh Mathur said.

The administration has managed to rescue 24 people buried under the rubble of the collapsed structure on Indira Road under Chandausi police station limits till Friday morning while many are still missing.

It is apprehended that over 50 labourers were buried under the rubble after the roof of the cold storage chamber hoarded with potatoes collapsed. Relief and rescue operations are being conducted. Police have registered a case against two persons, including the cold storage owner, while four persons have been detained for interrogation.

Meanwhile Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered a probe into the incident and also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the family of  those killed in the mishap and Rs 50,000 and free treatment to all those injured.

The Moradabad DIG said those rescued were admitted to the hospital for treatment. Some of the injured were discharged after first aid.

Police said they would be able to cite the reason for the collapse of the roof only after removing the rubble.

"Twenty-four people have been rescued so far and 14 have died. There are also reports that at least three people are severely injured. The rescue operation is still underway," the police said.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief at the death of the 14 labourers and wished speedy recovery of the injured. He tweeted: "The loss of lives in the cold store accident at Chandausi in district Sambhal is extremely painful. My condolences are with the bereaved families. May Lord Shri Ram grant the departed souls a place at his holy feet and strength to the family members to bear this immense sorrow."

Sambhal District Magistrate Manish Bansal said that the National Disaster Response Force team was searching for the trapped labourers with the help of sniffer dogs. “The rescue operation is underway and more search teams are being deployed,” he added.

The chief minister has constituted a probe committee led by police commissioner and DIG of Moradabad to find out the reason for the roof collapse. The committee has been asked to submit its report at the earliest, a government spokesperson disclosed.

The rescue operation, in which the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) were also involved, continued through the night. Searchlights were installed in the area to facilitate the rescue operation and backhoes (JCBs) were pressed into service to remove the rubble.

Minister of State for Secondary Education Gulab Devi and Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Dharam Pal Singh also visited the spot.

According to police, the collapsed roof was built only three months ago without the necessary permission from the administration and the quantity of potatoes stored at the cold storage was beyond its prescribed capacity.

DIG Mathur told reporters late on Thursday night that rescuers were taking precautions as ammonia gas cylinders were kept in the cold storage.

"A case under Section 304A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against Ankur Agarwal and Rohit Agarwal, the owners of the cold storage," the DIG had said.

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