14 dead under flood of potatoes after warehouse roof collapses in Indian town

File: Indian farmers stack harvested potatoes in a field (AFP via Getty Images/ Image used for representation purposes)

File: Indian farmers stack harvested potatoes in a field (AFP via Getty Images/ Image used for representation purposes)

At least 14 people were killed in the Indian city of Sambhal, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, after the roof of a cold storage potato warehouse collapsed and collapsed on residents at the facility, officials said on Friday.

A total of 24 people were pulled from the rubble of the cold store in the Chandausi area of ​​the eastern city of Sambhal, of whom 14 succumbed to their injuries, police officials said.

Witnesses said the roof of the derelict warehouse collapsed around 11:30 am Thursday morning while workers were inside.

Pictures of the incident showed dozens of filled sacks of potatoes atop rubble as local authorities brought in cleaning machines to sift through the massive pile of concrete and potatoes.

Farm workers were buried under sacks of potatoes as rescuers combed the rubble for survivors.

The federal disaster response team — the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) — and the State Disaster Response Force were deployed by Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government to extract the workers trapped in the warehouse, officials said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Shalabh Mathur said almost all of the missing workers have been found and the rescue operations have reached their final stage, Indian Daily reported The grandstand.

Officials also used sniffer dogs to find workers trapped under the rubble, District Judge Manish Bansal said, Indian news channel NDTV reported.

Of the injured, four are receiving medical treatment at a hospital in Moradabad district and six others have been discharged.

Head of State Yogi Adityanath has announced an ex-gratia of €200,000 (£1,989) for the families of the deceased and €50,000 (£500) for the injured, along with free treatment for all.

Authorities have filed a police complaint against the owner of the cold store and two other people linked to the property, alleging that the roof was reconstructed a few months ago, but not in compliance with safety protocols.

“We arrested four people for questioning. The main suspects are missing and wanted. We will only be able to determine the true reason for the collapse of this building after the debris has been removed,” Police Superintendent Chakresh Mishra said, NDTV reported.


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