AHMEDABAD: At least four people were killed today after a 20-ft wall of a two-storeyed building collapsed when a team from Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) began demolishing illegal properties in Nikol area here.
Alleging gross negligence on the part of AMC team, locals have gathered at the spot in large numbers and have refused to take the bodies unless action is initiated against the culprits.
The wall collapsed on the victims during the demolition drive undertaken in Uttamnagar area of Nikol in the eastern part of city, officials said, adding one person was also injured.
Officials of city fire brigade rushed to the spot in the afternoon upon learning about the mishap and is engaged in search and rescue operations, as 2-3 people are still feared trapped in the rubble.
"We have pulled out four bodies from the rubble. Three bodies are still lying on the spot while one has been shifted to civil hospital. One person was rescued alive in a critical condition and rushed to nearby hospital. The operation is still on to rescue others," said an official of city fire control room.
Locals have alleged that a JCB machine of the AMC team went on to demolish a two-storeyed commercial building even as occupants were still inside.
"As part of our protest, at least 8-10 persons, mainly occupants of shops and their family members, stood in front of the JCB machine when it came to demolish the complex. We urged the AMC team to give some more time," said Suresh Patel, a local and an eye witness.
"However, the AMC team ignored our plight and ordered the JCB operator to demolish the structure. Thus, a 20-ft wall suddenly collapsed on those who were standing near the structure. We will not take these bodies till the officials show up here and own the responsibility of killing citizens," said Patel.
As the situation became tense after the mishap, a large contingent of police force has been deployed in the area.