A six-storey residential building in Sachin Pali village, Surat, Gujarat collapsed on the afternoon of July 6, 2024. The disaster resulted in seven confirmed deaths and at least 15 injuries. Rescue operations were conducted by the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

The building was constructed illegally in 2017 and was mostly unoccupied, with only five out of thirty apartments being occupied by tenants primarily factory workers.

Surat Building Collapse: 7 Dead in Illegally Constructed Building from 2017

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On the afternoon of July 6, 2024, a six-storey building suddenly collapsed due to rains. This disaster led to the loss of seven lives with at least 15 individuals sustaining injuries.

The building constructed in 2017 and had a history, as it was built without proper legal clearances and had structural issues that were never addressed.

Emergency services including the local fire department, SDRF, and NDRF mobilized to the site. Rescue operations continued overnight with rescuers working to sift through the massive concrete debris.

Among the seven confirmed fatalities, the victims were identified as factory workers and their families who resided in the building.

The building’s collapse was tragic as it mostly housed individuals who worked in nearby textile factories and were residing in the building due to its low rental cost of ₹ 1,200 per month.

A woman was rescued alive from the debris late on Saturday. Despite hopes of finding more survivors, the rescue team concluded their operations by Sunday morning after recovering seven bodies.

The building was constructed illegally in 2017 without adhering to the necessary building codes and safety standards. This negligence contributed to its structural failure and collapse.

The building was in a dilapidated state with most of its 30 apartments unoccupied due to its poor condition.

The occupied flats were mainly inhabited by workers who could not afford better accommodations. Initial investigations revealed that the building had severe structural weaknesses by the incessant rains that weakened the foundation and overall stability of the structure.

Surat’s Chief Fire Officer, Basant Pareek and the Commissioner of Police, Anupam Gehlot were among the officials overseeing the rescue operations.

They provided regular updates on the situation confirming the death toll and the progress of rescue efforts.

The collapse occurred around 3 pm local time on Saturday, a small community living in the D N Nagar society in Paligam.

The building was constructed in 2016, which had been identified as structurally compromised due to severe defects.

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Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) had issued a notice in April 2024 warning the owners to evacuate the building because of visible cracks in walls exposed iron rods and crumbling concrete.

The victims included five individuals from Sidhi, Madhya Pradesh, a teenager from Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh and a resident from Surat.

Kashish Sharma, a 20-year-old woman was pulled out alive from the rubble early on Sunday and is currently hospitalized. Many of the deceased were industrial workers living in the building on rent.

The State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been involved in the rescue operations.

Teams worked through the night to locate and rescue individuals trapped under the debris, employing specialized equipment to clear the rubble.

The rescue operations have been a race against time with hopes that more survivors might be found under the collapsed structure.

The builders are identified as Ramila and Raj Kakadiya, who have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Ashwin Vekariya, an aide to the builders was arrested and charged under the new Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita for culpable homicide and abetment. Ramila Kakadiya is reportedly evading arrest, while her son Raj is currently in the United States.

The SMC had earlier identified serious structural defects in the building including cracks in the reinforced concrete (RCC) beams, columns, balconies and slabs.

Despite the SMC’s notice to evacuate the building due to these defects, the owners allegedly continued to rent out apartments without addressing the structural issues.

The building was part of the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) belt, a region with numerous textile, chemical and engineering units often housing low-income industrial workers.

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