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12 die, 20 injured in Chhattisgarh wall collapse

Raipur: Twelve people were killed and 20 others injured Tuesday when a portion of a bungalow of a superintendent of police (SP) collapsed in Chhattisgarh following heavy rains, police said.

The Chhattisgarh government has announced Rs.100,000 as compensation for the families of each of those killed and Rs.25,000 to each injured.

The accident took place at SP O.P. Pal’s bungalow in Ambikapur town of Surguja district, some 350 km north of here.

Pal told IANS on telephone that he was on leave in his home state, Uttar Pradesh.

“I have been told that a shed of my bungalow collapsed where daily wagers gather every day seeking work,” he said.

G.S. Dhananjay, collector of Surguja, told news agency: “It’s an accident. No one should be blamed for it. It was an old building and the incessant rain weakened the outer wall of the SP’s bungalow.”

The victims were poor people who were waiting to catch vehicles to leave for Ramanujganj, a small town of Surguja district, close to Jharkhand state border, he added.

He said the injured were rushed to a government hospital where majority of them were stated to be ‘out of danger’.

When asked whether he will order a probe into the matter, the collector remarked: “I will see whether the incident requires to be probed because whatever had to happen, has happened.”

Ambikapur mayor Prabodh Minj said majority of the portion of the bungalow was constructed during the British regime and its outer wall, which is about 10-feet in height, was not maintained for several years.

But he too attributed the collapse to consistent rains in the area.

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