The death toll in the Saturday night's hotel collapse in Indore rose to 10 with six more people succumbing to injuries, even as the district administration ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.
While eyewitnesses claimed that a car crashed into a pillar of the 60-year-old hotel building, following which it collapsed, the civic authorities said such a possibility could not be ruled out as of now and a detailed probe was being conducted into it.
The Madhya Pradesh government announced a compensation for the kin of the deceased, and the injured people.
The three-storey hotel-cum-lodge, located near the Sarvate Bus Stand in a congested commercial area, came crashing down around 10 pm on Saturday, Choti Gwaltoli police station in-charge Sanju Kamle told PTI.
"We rushed 12 people to the government Maharaja Yashwantrao (MY) hospital. Doctors there declared 10 dead since last night," he said, adding that two women were among the deceased.
Two persons, who were injured in the incident, were being treated at the MY Hospital.
Kamle said the hotel building, having around 15 rooms, was nearly 60 years old and in a dilapidated condition from inside.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed grief over the death of people in the incident. He announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to those injured in the mishap, an official of the Public Relations Department said.
The government will also bear the expenses of the injured people, the official said.
Indore Municipal Corporation commissioner Manish Singh was asked why the building was not declared as dangerous and no steps taken to evacuate the premises in time.
To this, Singh said, "The hotel building was old. Its construction technique was also old. But its owner had tried to make it look spic and span by keeping it well painted and decorated from outside."
"It has come to light that some repair work was going on inside the building for the last few days and that just before the mishap, a wall of the building collapsed following which the entire structure came crashing down," he told PTI.
He said the civic body was trying to find out as to how much illegal construction had been done in the premises by its owner.
While it was not yet clear how the structure collapsed, eyewitnesses claimed that a car rammed into a pillar of the hotel, following which there was a loud sound and the building came crashing down like a pack of cards.
The civic commissioner said this version could not be ruled out as of now and a detailed investigation was on into it.
He also said that two buildings adjoining the hotel also suffered damage and their residents were evacuated as a precautionary measure.
Collector Nishant Warwade said a detailed inquiry into the incident will be conducted by an additional district magistrate-rank official.
The incident was also captured on a CCTV, the video of which has gone viral on social media.
The CCTV footage, which is of a few seconds, purportedly shows the building collapsing and some two and four-wheel vehicles getting trapped under the rubble.
Following the collapse, there was a huge cloud of dust and debris in the area, as per the footage.
Four of those who died in the mishap were identified as Rakesh Rathore, 26, Raju Sen, 40, Anand Porwal, 27, and Harish Soni, 65.
The identities of the other six deceased, including the two women, were yet to be established.
According to a police official, names of about 40 guests were mentioned on some recent dates in the hotel's register, and seven to eight employees were working there.
However, it was not yet clear as to how many people were present in the hotel at the time of the mishap, he said.
The rescue operation was hampered for a while because of the huge crowd of onlookers gathered near the site last night, and the police used mild force to disperse them.
IMAGES: Rescue works underway after collapse of a hotel building in Indore on Saturday night. Photographs: PTI Photo