Shimla: At least seven people, including six Army soldiers, were killed and 28 injured after a four-storey building collapsed in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan district, the police said on Monday.
The building, located on the Nahan-Kamarhati road, housed a restaurant and collapsed on Sunday evening after heavy showers, they said. The bodies of six army men and a civilian have been extricated so far from the debris, Solan Superintendent of Police Madhusudan Sharma said.
The Army personnel from nearby Dagshai cantonment had reportedly gone for lunch at the restaurant. According to officials, the incident took place at around 4 p.m.
The 28 people who were rescued comprised 17 soldiers and 11 civilians.
The dead included the building owner’s wife.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur along with his Cabinet Minister Rajiv Saizal, MP Suresh Kashyap and state Assembly Speaker Rajiv Bindal reached the spot and supervised the rescue operation.
Expressing grief, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has ordered an inquiry into the incident, an official spokesperson said, adding that he would visit Solan district to take stock of the rescue work and enquired about the condition of the injured on on Monday morning.
An FIR has been lodged against the owner of the building that collapsed here on Sunday, said Solan Deputy Commissioner KC Chaman.
DC Chaman said 11 Army personnel are still feared trapped, adding that rescue operation has been undertaken on war footing.
“Around 17 Army personnel and nine civilians have been rescued so far. Two Army and one civilian casualty have been reported. 11 Army personnel are still feared trapped. The rescue operation is underway on war footing,” he said.
DC Chaman also told an inquiry will be conducted to ascertain the cause of the mishap. The Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police initially jointly carried out the rescue operation.
Subsequently, two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams including one each from Haryana’s Panchkula and Shimla’s Sunni reached on Sunday night at the spot to carry out the rescue work, Director cum Special Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management, D C Rana told sources. The third NDRF team reached from Panchkula joined the rescue operation on Monday morning, he added.