Five workers were killed after a portion of a compound wall of a private college hostel collapsed on them in Sugunapuram in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district Tuesday.
According to the police, the workers were digging before erecting a new wall beside the old one when it collapsed on them at around 5.30 pm. After receiving the information about the accident, the police and fire and rescue personnel were alerted and they reached the spot.
Four workers identified as Kolli Jaganathan, 35, Rabaka Kanniah, 49, and Nageela Sathyam, 37, all from Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal resident S Pishkosh, 20, died on the spot. Another worker B Parun Kosh, 28, was taken to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital where he succumbed to his injury.
On Wednesday, the police arrested Project Manager Sadiq Kul Ameer and Site Engineer K Arunachalam under Section 304 (II) (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Coimbatore Collector Kranthi Kumar Pati, who visited the spot on Tuesday, told reporters a case has been initiated and they are investigating all possible angles. Appropriate action will be initiated, Pati added.
While speaking to the reporters, Coimbatore Mayor A Kalpana said the college trustees have said only the contractors are responsible for the accident. Kalpana said due action will be initiated against the college if it is found they were constructing the wall without due permission.
Deputy Mayor Vetri Selvan accused the college management of being irresponsible and claimed all walls across the college are in a similar condition. Selvan said when he visited these areas two months ago during heavy rainfall, he found knee-deep water. He added the college management was informed about the poor quality of walls on several occasions but they did not pay heed or take action to address the issue.
Based on the complaint of Kollidama, the wife of worker Kolli Jaganathan, the Kuniyamuthur police had registered a case. Kollidama had claimed the workers were made to work without any protective gear.