Ahmedabad: As many as seven migrant workers were killed and one was grievously hurt when an elevator shaft they were working on at an under-construction skyscraper came down crashing in Ahmedabad on Wednesday morning. The injured worker is undergoing treatment at a hospital.
The police said the incident occurred around 9.30 a.m. at the construction site located near the Gujarat University.
Assistant Commissioner of Police LB Jhala, who rushed to the spot with his team, told mediapersons that, “Six labourers working inside the elevator shaft on the 13th floor of the building fell on the ground with a thud when the support structure collapsed."
He said two others working on the fifth floor also fell down as they lost their balance. In all, seven labourers died while another was under treatment.
The police officer disclosed that from the preliminary findings it appeared that the safety measures were not in place and the police would initiate suitable action if the investigation revealed negligence by the building contractor.
Speaking to mediapersons near the spot of the incident, a labourer at the ground floor said the victims hailed from Panchmahals district and they had not worn any safety gear.
More shocking, Ahmedabad Chief Fire Officer Jayesh Khadia said he was surprised that his department did not get any call after the incident. He told mediapersons, "We did not receive any calls and came to know about the incident through the media.”
Khadia said the reason for the collapse of the elevator shaft was still not known, while further analysis was on. Mayor Kirit Parmar, who also reached the spot, said police would take action if the builders had violated any laws.
He added, however, that the builders indeed took the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s necessary approvals. But the Mayor also wondered that, "Though the incident occurred at 9.30 a.m., our officials were informed at least two hours later around 11.30 a.m.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his concern over the incident. The PMO tweeted, "The mishap at an under-construction building in Ahmedabad is saddening. Condolences to those who have lost their family members in this mishap. I hope the injured recover soon. The local authorities are providing all possible assistance to those affected: PM"