PANAJI: With the recovery of two more bodies, the death toll in the building collapse at Goa’s Cancona town rose to 15 on Sunday even as fire personnel feared that around 20 people could still be lying under the rubble.
A search was, meanwhile, on for the missing builder and contractor of the under-construction five-storey residential building that caved in Cancona town, about 70 kms from Goa, on Saturday.
“The death toll in the building collapse has risen to 15,” Goa acting Chief Secretary R.K. Srivastava said.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said he will announce compensation for the victims on Monday.
Fire personnel fear some people could still be under the rubble of the building that collapsed at Cancona near here but the possibility of finding more survivors at the site appears bleak as a huge pile of debris is affecting the pace of rescue operations.
Goa fire and emergency services personnel and Army carried out rescue operations overnight to look for more survivors but due to huge pile of debris, chances of finding anybody alive was getting slimmer with the passage of time.
Fire personnel fear that around 20 people could still be lying under the rubble and chances of anyone of them coming out alive was remote.
“Earlier there were some sounds coming from the debris which helped rescuers to locate them and rescue two persons who were asking for help,” said an eyewitness, adding no more voices can be heard now from inside.
The state police have also launched a search for the builder Vishwas Desai and contractor Jaideep Saigal against whom an FIR was filed on Saturday for endangering human life, causing death and negligence.
“Both the builder and contractor have been missing while attempts are on to trace them,” police inspector Harish Madkaikar told PTI.
Deputy Inspector General of Police O.P. Mishra said that police will investigate with all seriousness into the offence registered against the builder-contractor duo.
But, the priority right now is to rescue people from the debris, he said.
Officials said the building was being developed by Navi Mumbai-based Bharat Realtors and Developers.