PANAJI, India (AP) Rescuers using backhoes and shovels searched for survivors Jan. 5 under a massive pile of broken concrete and dust that was left when a residential building under construction collapsed in southern India, killing at least 15 workers.
Authorities suspected dozens more may be trapped under the rubble, but were still trying to determine how many workers were on site when the five-story structure crumpled in the state of Goa. Witnesses reported seeing at least 40 workers.
Soldiers and firefighters listened for movement or cries from the wreckage as they worked overnight to clear the debris, state official Venancio Furtado said.
At least 10 people were pulled out alive overnight, but the chance of finding survivors was dwindling, Furtado said. By the afternoon of Jan. 5, the death toll had reached 15, according to the state government.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said he ordered a review of the construction project, after seeing cracks that developed in the adjacent apartment building constructed by the same company, Mumbai-based Bharat Developers and Realtors Pvt. Ltd.
“The design is faulty, which is why the tragedy happened,'' Parrikar said.
Police began investigating both the building company and city officials who approved the construction on a patch of marshland in Canacona, about 44 mi. (70 km) from the state capital of Panaji. But they have been unable to track down the construction manager and building contractor.