New Collapse Claims 11 in India


One day after recovery work ended at a building collapse that killed 61 construction workers, another collapse in the same Indian city killed 11 more workers and family members.

The latest victims included four women and a 3-year-old child.

As before, monsoon rains were blamed for compromising the structure—this time, a 20-foot-tall warehouse wall that collapsed Saturday (July 5) onto the workers' makeshift housing in Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu in southern India.

In addition to the 11 deceased, the 18-year-old son of one victim was injured, authorities said.

New Investigation

The warehouse wall toppled one day after a week-long 1,500-person rescue and recovery effort wrapped up elsewhere in Chennai. The earlier incident involved the June 28 collapse of an 11-story building under construction. Sixty-one workers perished.

Six people—architects, engineers and development company executives—have been arrested on homicide charges in the collapse. They say the building was struck by lightning.

In addition, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa announced that a Special Investigation Team would probe the incident. The team will include experts from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and Anna University who will assist the police.

'Complete Structural Failure'

"It appears the building did not adhere to the approved plan, and it suffered from structural defects," Jayalalithaa told

Chennai apt building collapse
@anna_isaac / Twitter

More than 60 workers were killed June 28 in the collapse of an 11-story building under construction. A Special Investigation Team has been assembled.

A team of experts from the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association called the building a structural engineering disaster that included the use of weak load-bearing beams and columns, and use of sub-standard construction material, the news outlet reported.

"It's a pancake collapse, When the slabs fall one over another. The columns have fallen flat. They have failed in both the regions - the top and bottom - which means it's a complete structural failure " Dr. R. Kumar, the association's chairman, told the news outlet.

New Collapse, New Arrests

Little information was available on Saturday's incident. The Deccan Chronicle reported that the victims were trapped under the rubble overnight, until a passerby saw the collapsed wall Sunday morning and summoned help.

Chennai collapse

The victims, including four women and a child, had been in makeshift housing adjacent to a 20-foot-tall wall that failed.

After rescue efforts began, local police arrested the warehouse owner, the mason for whom the laborers worked, and the site engineer, the news outlet said.

Reports said that the death toll would likely have been higher, but that that day had been a payday and some of the workers had left the site.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Building Envelope; Commercial contractors; Construction; Fatalities; Wall

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