Wall collapse kills seven in Andhra

Vijayawada, May 15 (IANS) Seven workers were buried alive when the wall at a construction site collapsed in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur town Saturday night, police said on Sunday.

Rescue workers pulled out an eighth man alive. The seven bodies were retrieved on Sunday morning.

The accident occurred when the wall at a shopping mall being built collapsed and the debris fell on a pit where 18 labourers were working.

Police, fire brigade and revenue personnel launched the rescue operations. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) also joined the rescue effort.

The irate workers attacked the cars of an aide of Social Welfare Minister Ravela Kishore Babu when he reached the scene.

The deceased include students who were working as construction workers during summer holidays to earn some money.

Deputy Chief Minister N. Chinnarajappa said action would be taken if it was proved that the negligence by the builder led to the collapse.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed at the Government Hospital at Guntur on Sunday as families of the dead workers staged a protest demanding compensation.

They insisted on an assurance by the government before allowing the autopsy to be conducted.

Leaders of opposition parties also joined the protest. They wanted the government to immediately pay Rs.20 lakh each to the families of the dead.

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