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7 Killed in Wall Collapse

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

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Seven construction workers were killed Saturday (May 14) evening at a five-story mall project under construction in Guntur, India.

According to various news reports, police said the workers were buried under pounds of mud and slush when the wall of a 30-foot deep basement caved in.

Reports say the victims were laying metal grid for concrete pillars at the time of the incident. Following the wall collapse, the compound wall of an adjacent restaurant also collapsed upon the mound of soil, further burying the victims.

Witnesses told The Hindu that the workers had expressed concern over the strength of the soil but the mason subcontractor had pushed them to continue working.

Victims Identified

The 18- to 24-year-old victims were identified by authorities as: Seshu, Bhagya Rao, Moshe, Solomon, Babloo, Sudhakar and J. Prasanth.

Another worker, identified as Vasimalla Mariababu, was rescued from the collapsing earth, reports say.

The Hindu reported Sunday that Mariababu was “battling for his life” at the Government General Hospital.

Pushed to Complete

In the wake of the incident, Guntur Urban Police have registered cases against the builder, subcontractor and labor contractor, on charges of negligence, The Hindu reported Sunday (May 15). Those facing charges are Chakkapalli Ramesh, Vinod and N. Ramu.

“We have told the builder that the compound wall of an adjacent restaurant is weak due to continuous seepage of water used for washing dishes,” worker Vasimalla Prabhudas reportedly said in a statement to police.

“We had also noticed that the loose soil is beginning to crack. Even on Saturday, we aired our concerns to subcontractor, but the latter insisted we should complete the work as the readymade concrete machine is arriving on Sunday. He also threatened that our weekly payment will not be given unless we complete the work and made us work till evening.

“In this way, the negligence of builder and contractor caused the death of workers.”

Construction on the Phoenix Mall project reportedly started in 2015.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Commercial Construction; Construction; Developers; Fatalities; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; India

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