CHENNAI: A day after the 11-storey building collapsed in the Chennai suburb of Mouliwakkam, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Sunday visited the location to oversee rescue operations.
She also visited a nearby private hospital in Porur, where a number of persons pulled out of the debris were undergoing treatment. The Chief Minister assured that a detailed inquiry would be conducted into the mishap.
Accompanied by senior officials of her administration, the Chief Minister was given an overview of the rescue operations. She dismissed reports that the rescue operations had come to a halt, saying the rumours were “mischievous and politically motivated”.
“It appears that the builders did not adhere to the approved plans. The building seems to have had serious structural defects. My government will conduct an inquiry into this.
We will have to test samples of the construction material and also conduct soil tests to see if the site could have supported the weight of this structure,” said Jayalalithaa at the site of the mishap.
“There were a total of 72 persons inside the building at the time of the collapse. Of them, 20 were women. Many of these workers were from Andhra Pradesh and some belonged to the northern states. So far, 31 people have been pulled out of the debris. While 11 died, others are receiving the best medical care,” she added.
The Chief Minister later paid a visit to a private hospital in Porur, where a large number of victims were undergoing treatment.
Chief Secretary Mohan Verghese Chunkath, Government Advisor Sheela Balakrishnan, Information Secretary M Rajaram and Chennai Police Commissioner S George were among the senior officials who accompanied her.
Earlier in the day, Jayalalithaa announced that the State government would bear all expenses incurred on sending the bodies of the deceased to their hometowns. She also announced a solatium of `2 lakh to the family of each victim and `50,000 to the injured.
“I appreciate the rescue efforts of the Kancheepuram district administration, police, fire and rescue services personnel, medical staff, Public Works Department, Highways Department, Chennai Corporation, Chennai Metro Rail, National Disaster Response Force and officials of all departments. I have ordered that the debris be cleared at the earliest and all those trapped under it be given proper medical care,” the Chief Minister added.