New Delhi, Aug 26 (efe-epa).- Rescue teams concluded Wednesday their search for survivors among the rubble of a five-story building that recently collapsed in western India, causing 16 deaths and nine injuries.
“The search and rescue operation started immediately after the accident” late Monday in Raigad district, in the state of Maharashtra, and was completed Wednesday, the district administration spokesperson Manoj Shivaji Sanap told EFE.
Early Wednesday, the last body was recovered in the rubble, that of a 63-year-old woman, taking the total number of casualties in the tragedy to 16 deaths and nine injured, five of whom have already been discharged from hospital, according to Sanap.
During the search operation, there were also moments of euphoria when rescue teams found a four-year-old boy alive after he spent 19 hours trapped in the rubble, giving rescue services hope of finding more people alive.
The Director General of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Satya Pradhan, then took to Twitter to share the event of the “MIRACLE-CHILD RESCUED ALIVE-God’s Child.”
“Let’s All pray for more miracles,” Pradhan added, and shared a video of the child being extracted from the rubble by several members of the rescue services.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to the social networking site on Tuesday to express his condolences to the families of those affected.
“Saddened by the building collapse in Mahad, Raigad in Maharashtra. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their dear ones. I pray the injured recover soon,” Modi tweeted from the official handle of the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Local authorities and NDRF teams are at the site of the tragedy, providing all possible assistance,” he added.
Fires and building collapses are common in India owing to the often precarious condition of infrastructure and a lack of maintenance, factors that are aggravated by corruption and illegal practices within the construction sector.
Monsoon season only serves to heighten the possibility of collapses, with the prolonged period of intense rain affecting building structures.
Last year, 13 people died when a building collapsed during the monsoon season in the month of July in Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra and considered India’s financial capital.
The same month, a building collapse due to incessant rain in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh claimed 12 lives and injured 30 others.
And a few days before that, torrential rain in Maharashtra caused the deaths of at least 23 people, 14 of them brought about by the collapse of a wall in a shanty area. EFE-EPA