14 including 13 Army soldiers dead after building collapses in Himachal

The Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police initially jointly carried out the rescue operation.

Shimla: At least 14 people, including 13 Army personnel after a four-storey building collapsed in Himachal Pradesh's Solan district, the police said on Monday.

However, 30 Army personnel and 12 civilians, were trapped in the debris, all of them have been pulled out.

The building, located on the Nahan-Kumarhatti road, housed a restaurant and collapsed on Sunday evening after heavy showers, they said. The bodies of six army men and a civilian have been extricated so far from the debris, Solan Superintendent of Police Madhusudan Sharma said.

An FIR has been lodged against the owner of the building that collapsed here on Sunday, said Solan Deputy Commissioner KC Chaman.

Speaking to ANI, Chaman said 11 Army personnel are still feared trapped, adding that rescue operation has been undertaken on war footing.

"Around 17 Army personnel and nine civilians have been rescued so far. Two Army and one civilian casualty have been reported. 11 Army personnel are still feared trapped. The rescue operation is underway on war footing," he said.

Chaman also said an inquiry will be conducted to ascertain the cause of the mishap.

At least seven persons are still feared trapped under the debris, Solan sub divisional magistrate Rohit Rathore said. According to Solan Deputy Commissioner (DC) K C Chaman, at least 42 people were trapped under the rubble of the collapsed building of which 28 including 17 Army personnel and 11 civilians, have been rescued.

The Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police initially jointly carried out the rescue operation. Subsequently, two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams including one each from Haryana's Panchkula and Shimla's Sunni reached on Sunday night at the spot to carry out the rescue work, Director cum Special Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management, D C Rana told PTI. The third NDRF team reached from Panchkula joined the rescue operation on Monday morning, he added.

The Army personnel from nearby Dagshai cantonment had reportedly gone for lunch at the restaurant. Expressing grief, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has ordered an inquiry into the incident, an official spokesperson said, adding that he would visit Solan district to take stock of the rescue work and enquired about the condition of the injured on on Monday morning.

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