At least three persons were killed and five others injured when an under-construction multi-storeyed residential building collapsed at Bellandur in Bengaluru on Wednesday, police said.
"The toll now stands at three. One body we got at the spot earlier, another person died at the hospital and one more body is under the debris, we are trying to reach it," DCP South-East (Bengaluru) Boralingaiah MB told PTI.
One of the victims was a private security guard Ashok Mahanta of the adjacent building and the other one of the workers in the building.
Of the seven persons rescued so far, three have been admitted to a nearby hospital.
"The incident occurred around 1-2 pm when the pillars and columns of the building on the floors above the ground level gave way under the weight of the construction material on the fifth and sixth floors, where the work was going on," a fire brigade official, who was part of the rescue and relief team, told IANS later.
Police filed a complaint of negligence against the building owner and its engineer, though they were not present when the accident took place. A search to hunt then down is on.
"The building collapsed due to substandard materials used in the construction," Bengaluru Mayor G Padmavathi told reporters at the spot.
Many of the workers and labourers engaged in the ill-fated building construction are from Odisha and West Bengal.
In a related development, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Commissioner Manjunath Prasad suspended two engineers AR Raghavendra and Kodanda Reddy of the civic body for not preventing the land owner and the builder from violating the sanctioned plan.
"Although the Corporation approved the building plan for only ground plus three floors, the two ignored it and allowed the building to have two more floors illegally," said Prasad.
The site owner has been identified as Vinay Kumar Dongalu and the builder as Srinivas Reddy from the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh state.
About 50 personnel of the state fire brigade, the National Disaster Response Force and civil defence team were engaged in the rescue and relief operations.
"The construction work has been on for the last six months, almost a year after the approvals were given," recalled BBMP Joint Commissioner M Muniveerappa.
With inputs from IANS and PTI