15 people have died in Kondhwa wall collapse incident. Rescue operations are underway. (source: ANI)

At last 15 people have been killed Saturday morning after a part of the wall of a residential building collapsed at a construction site in Pune’s Kondhwa area due to heavy rainfall. Among the dead are four children and a woman.

The 15 deceased belonged to families of labourers and had been living in temporary shelters built at the site near Talab Masjid. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has set up an inquiry and announced compensation of Rs 4 lakh for the next of the kin of the deceased, as well as Rs 50,000 for the injured, according to ANI reports.

Shocking visuals showed several cars stuck in debris. The wall crumbled down onto the tin sheds next to the building, taking down the parked cars as the ground caved in.

Most of those who died were sleeping when the building wall fell on their homes at 1:45 am, according to officials.

Rescue personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the fire department arrived at the site of the accident, searching for people who may be stuck. The injured have been taken to a nearby hospital.

A fire brigade official said those who detailed were from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh

Maharashtra Revenue Minister and Pune Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil said that a committee has been constituted to probe the incident.

“The three-member committee has been given the mandate to look into who were the developers, architects, structural engineers involved at the said construction site and the one next to it. It will also look into how these labourers were brought to the site and if all the adequate procedures were completed for their employment,” he said.

The committee, comprising an additional collector, a police officer and one municipal officer, will submit a report within 24 hours. Further action will follow the submission of the report.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, tweeted after the incident, “Extremely saddened to know about loss of lives in the Kondhwa, Pune wall collapse incident. My deepest condolences to the families and prying for speedy recovery of the injured. Directed Pune Collector to conduct an in-depth enquiry.”

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also expressed grief on the incident.

A statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office in Patna said Kumar has expressed “deep sorrow over the wall collapse at Kondhwa in Pune and condoled the death of 15 people from Katihar district in Bihar”.

Meanwhile, the Bihar government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for kin of the victims and Rs 50,000 for the injured who hailed from the state.

Heavy rain showers fell in Pune on Thursday and Friday. As of last night, Pune received 73.1 millimetres of rain in 24 hours, the second highest rainfall in June since 2010.

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