Seven persons were killed while eight others were injured after a four storey building collapsed at Darjeeling following prolonged rain. State government has announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next kin of the deceased, while Rs 1 lakh would be given to the victims who were injured in the accident. The government would also provide financial assistance for the funerals of those who died at the accident. Following the accident, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee instructed the North Bengal Development minister Rabindranath Ghosh to visit the spot to take stock of the situation.
Police said that on late Friday night, the building collapsed due to incessant rain. Senior police officers, fire brigade and disaster management and civil defense team started the rescue operation on a war footing. Local people took part in the rescue operations even before the police and fire brigade reached the spot.
Police said that the owner of the building Ashok Chhetri had let out the first three storey of his building to three families who were staying at the building for quite sometimes. Rajesh Pariar, Anita Pariar and Amrita Pariar, members of one of those families, received severe injuries and later died in the hospital.
Another woman had succumbed to her injuries in the hospital. The rescue team had a hard time to bring out the persons who were caught under the debris. Around 7 persons were injured in the incident among which some were stated to be in serious condition.
Amar Kar, the MLA of Darjeeling rushed to the spot after the accident and supervised the rescue operation. According to the police there were around 15 inmates in the building. The owner of the building who started staying at Siliguri had rushed the spot after hearing about the incident.
In a separate incident commuters travelling to Sikkim were seriously inconvenienced after a portion of National Highway 10 caved in at Berikadhara area in Sevok.