VISAKHAPATNAM: Four labourers were buried alive when earth caved in at a construction site near Hotel Tycoon on the VIP road in the city on Thursday morning. About 10 other workers had a narrow escape as they ran for their lives even as the mud buried alive their fellow workers.
The nearly half-acre site has been dug up to a depth of 25 feet for construction of a commercial complex by Sri Venkateswara Constructions owned by two partners Seetharam and Bhanuprakash. Construction of a retaining wall was going on in the site when the mishap occurred.
The police and emergency rescue teams swung into action and tried to clear the debris looking for any survivors but the mud continued to fall hampering their work. They later managed to retrieve the bodies of the four victims, all daily wagers, identified as A Someswara Rao (27) from Mandasa town of Mahadevapuram mandal in Srikakulam district (staying at Kancharapalem in the city), K Krishna (40) of Muralinagar in the city and Paradesi Patro (32) and J Ramu (23) of Berhampur in Odisha.
About 14 men were working at the spot and those working at the far end managed to escape from the jaws of death.
The III Town police took two construction supervisors into custody and have registered a case under 406 (A), death caused due to act of negligence, and a few other sections on the builders, who are at large.
Work was going on at the site for construction of a two-level parking -- cellar and sub-cellar -- for the proposed five-storeyed commercial building.
Due to overnight rain the mud became wet and loose. “Due to incessant rain, all the sides of the pit dug up for constructing the cellar became weak and caved in,” said a labourer.
CM Announces Rs 2 lakh Ex gratia
Panchayat raj minister Ch Ayyanna Patrudu, who visited the accident spot, directed the police, GVMC, labour department and other officials concerned to probe the incident and assured the victims’ families of taking stringent action against the persons responsible for it. District collector N Yuvaraj, who accompanied the minister, said a criminal case would be registered on the builders and the site engineer, who were not present at the site when the mishap occurred. Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased workers.