A multi-story building in Lucknow collapsed on Wednesday, leaving two women dead and two others missing. The victims were identified as Uzma Haider, the wife of Samajwadi Party (SP) spokesperson Abbas Haider, and her mother, Begum Haider.
Begum Haider, 87, was pulled from the rubble after a nightlong rescue operation, but later died from her injuries at the hospital. Uzma Haider, 30, also died in a civilian hospital.
According to a high-ranking official, 15 people have been rescued from the rubble so far, but at least two others are still missing and presumed dead.
In response to the incident, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, ordered a three-person committee to investigate the incident, with a report due in one week. The administration in Lucknow also ordered the filing of a case against the builder and owners of the building in the Hazratganj area.
The committee, which includes Lucknow Divisional Commissioner Roshan Jacob, Joint Commissioner of Police Piyush Mordia, and the head engineer of the Public Works Department, will investigate the incident and submit its report within a week.
Meerut police have detained Nawazish, the son of former minister and SP MLA Shahid Manzoor, for questioning in connection with the collapse of the five-story Alaya Apartment Building. Nawazish has been transferred to Lucknow for further investigation.
Roshan Jacob, the divisional commissioner of Lucknow, has ordered that a case be filed against Mohammad Tareef, Nawazish Shahid, and Yazdan Builders and has directed officials from the Lucknow Development Authority to take appropriate action. Additionally, the DC has directed that any additional Yazdan Builders-built properties in the Lucknow area be located and inspected, and if found to be illegal or of poor quality, be demolished.
Deputy Chief Minister Brijesh Pathak has ordered that all hospitals in the district be placed on full alert and stated that the top priority is ensuring that all victims are rescued and receive the medical care they require. He also threatened harsh punishment for anyone found to be responsible.
The search for and rescue of people is still ongoing, with assistance from multiple agencies including the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and the Army. The cause of the building’s collapse is not yet known, but it is clear that the building was constructed with low-quality materials and without the approval of the Lucknow Development Authority in 2009.
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