Himachal Building Collapse: Death Toll Rises to 13

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The death toll in a building collapse in Solan at Himachal Pradesh that took place on Sunday climbed to 13 on Monday after five more bodies were retrieved from the rubble.

Twenty-eight people were injured in the building collapse on Sunday evening following heavy rains. According to officials, bodies of 12 Army personnel and a civilian were extricated from the debris.

One person was still feared trapped under the debris, said Solan sub-divisional magistrate Rohit Rathore.

The officials said that the actual number of those trapped inside would be clear only after the rescue operation ends which was expected to be over by Monday evening.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur visited the spot on Monday and said that initial investigation has found that the structure was not built up to specifications.

The CM also said that a magisterial inquiry has already been ordered and that strict legal action will be taken against erring persons after getting the report. Thakur further stated that an FIR was also registered against the owner of the building adding that there are more such buildings in the state. He also said that owners have constructed them without following building by-laws. Whatever is required to be done will be done to check it.

Thakur also reiterated that rescue operation is still on and that necessary equipment was airlifted on Sunday evening itself through a helicopter from Shimla’s Sunni to carry out the rescue work by the NDRF.

Speaking to news agency PTI, an injured soldier said that Army personnel belonging to the 4 Assam Regiment of nearby Dagshai Cantonment went to the restaurant in the building to party when suddenly the building shook and collapsed.

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