'Casualties could have been higher if slide had occurred in evening'
NEW DELHI: The road leading to the Ghazipur landfill site bore an unusual look on Saturday, as commuters stop their vehicles to look at the spot where two persons, including a woman, died after the landfill collapsed on Friday afternoon.
While the clearance operation was underway on Saturday evening, police claimed that no more casualties were reported.
Since morning, the disaster management department has been clearing the garbage and checking for any more persons stuck under the garbage dump.
An official from East Delhi's Disaster Management Authority at the spot told Millennium Post that the rain was proving to be a hurdle in the rescue operation.
''After the incident, we continued rescue operation on Friday night. We have used four life detecting machine. More than 20 persons have been continuously involved in the operation," said the official.
When asked about when the operation will end, the official said it could take several hours to clear the garbage.
Near the accident spot, Sonu is selling biscuits at his shop to children from the nearby Gharoli Extension.
He says many lives were saved by the drain near the landfill. "If the drain was not there, the garbage pile would have surely entered the colony," says Sonu.
According to residents, had the incident occurred between 7 and 8 pm, the number of deaths would have been higher as people leave for their home from office in the evening.
"If the accident had occurred in the evening, the death toll would have been higher," says Amar Singh, a resident of Gharoli Extension.
Friday's accident came as a shock to many residents. Some are questioning how many more lives the landfill site would claim.
Local police, traffic cops and personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force were seen busy handling the crowd gathered at the site.
"Around 18 CRPF personnel are here since 6 am to maintain law and order in the area," said Yogpal Singh, a CRPF personnel.
Krishan Kumar, PRO, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), said that heavy rainfall over the past couple of days may have caused loosening of the mounds of garbage, causing it to collapse.
"On getting a call about the accident, NDRF immediately mobilised a team of 45 personnel from R K Puram to the cave-in site. A team of deep divers also rushed to the incident from NDRF Base, Ghaziabad and joined the operations with the Fire Brigade," said Kumar.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Eastern Range) Ravindra Yadav said that other than Abhishek and Raj Kumari, no more casualties were reported.