BENGALURU: Three persons died and several others were feared trapped after an under construction building collapsed at Kasavanahalli near Bellandur on Thursday evening.
According to the police, seven people were rescued by fire and emergency personnel with the help of local residents immediately after the collapse while more than 13 are feared trapped inside the debris.
Mani, an eye witness said: "I was alerted by a huge sound at 4.45 pm while working at my shop near the building. Upon reaching the spot, I saw thick dust in the air and the building had collapsed. The staff at a nearby school including the principal came out to help the workers and they managed to pull a few from the debris. Some of them were rescued before the fire and emergency personnel rushed to the spot."
Neighbouring buildings are also said to be damaged due to the impact of the collapse.
Rescue operations would go on into the evening. The deceased are being shifted to St John's hospital.
Police said the under-construction building at Kasavanahalli suddenly collapsed around 3.30 pm, trapping many.
Fire brigade and police personnel, who were informed, launched rescue operations assisted by local people.
Two labourers were found dead under the debris while one of the rescued succumbed to injuries in hospital, Bengaluru Mayor R Sampath Raj said.
Deputy commissioner of police of Whitefield division, Abdul Ahad said the building belonged to one Rafique from HSR Layout. "We are gathering more information. It was developed to accommodate paying guests but later the owner tried to convert it into a commercial building," he said.
The construction had started six years ago but was stopped midway. Six months ago, construction work again began, the deputy commissioner said. It is learnt that there were labourers from other states as well.
Raj said the building collapsed because of weak foundation. "Rescue team is at work. The rescuers have gone inside the building," he said.
"We will initiate action against the owner and the contractor but our priority is to rescue people trapped under the debris," Raj said.
(with PTI inputs)