UTTAR PRADESH: The death toll in the Greater Noida building collapse rose to nine on Thursday, after the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) retrieved four more bodies from the rubble.
A six-floor under-construction building crashed on a five-storey building next to it, bringing it down as well, in Shahberi village under Bisrakh police station on Tuesday night.
Chief Fire Officer Arun Kumar Singh said the body was pulled out this morning.
He has been identified as Naushad.
Eight bodies were found until late last night.
At least 12 labourers were in the under-construction building and all of them were feared trapped, according to Singh.
Singh said the operation to remove the debris was progressing and it might continue until tomorrow morning.
The National Disaster Response Force has mounted the rescue operation along with the police and the fire department.
Rescuers have deployed heavy machinery to shift concrete slabs and used drills in a bid to reach people buried under the debris.
Sniffer dogs were trying to detect signs of life.
Police have arrested five people in connection with the case.
Greater Noida Deputy S P Avnish Kumar said the fifth accused was arrested today near Tigri roundabout in Greater Noida and he has been identified as Qasim, the project's contractor.
Raids were being conducted to arrest the rest of the accused, Kumar added.
Altogether, 24 people have been named in the FIR.
Charges include culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Officer on Special Duty in Greater Noida Development Authority, Vibha Chahal, has been removed from her post.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered the suspension of two other officials, project manager V P Singh and assistant project manager Akhtar Abbas Zaidi, for dereliction of duty.
Adityanath has asked the Meerut divisional commissioner to conduct an inquiry and determine the extent of illegal construction in the area.
Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate Brajesh Narayan Singh has also ordered an investigation, to be completed within 15 days.
NDRF Director General Sanjay Kumar said yesterday rescuers were exercising caution in operating the machines so that those trapped under the debris were not harmed.
This was leading to the delay, he said.