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Gujarat building collapse toll 11
January 27, 2007 10:54 IST
"Rescue workers removed two more bodies from the rubble during the nightlong search operation. The operation is over as there do not seem to be any more people trapped in the debris. Workers are sifting through the rubble," Surat District Collector Vatsala Vasudev told PTI.
At least 14 others, all tribal girls, are receiving treatment for various injuries at a hospital in neighbouring town of Vyara, the Collector said.
The roof and staircase of the four storeyed building, which houses the government-run Adarsh Nivasi Shala for tribal girls, had collapsed on Friday evening.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
Parents of the victims, all girl students, blamed the hostel authorities for the incident, saying they did not heed the warnings by several students who repeatedly complained of the building structure being weak.
Suresh Gamit, an inconsolable father of Tejal, an eighth standard student who perished in the collapse, blamed the hostel authorities for not taking complaints of the girls seriously.
"My daughter and her friends used to complain that the structure and even the stairs used to wobble during strong wind. It was just a matter of time before this incident happened," he said with tears rolling down his eyes for his only daughter.
Father of another victim, Deepika Chaudhary, echoed similar sentiments. "Children had complained about the poor building structure but nothing was done about it. Even a government survey was underway to strengthen the structure but the work was very slow," he said.
State Education Minister Anandiben Patel, who rushed to the site on Friday night, told mediapersons that the government would investigate the incident thoroughly.
The building was constructed by the government to cater to the education of tribal girls living in this predominantly tribal area.
People living in the vicinity and construction workers from nearby sites were the first to come to the rescue of the trapped students before the district authorities reached the spot.