According to The Indian Express, 20-year-old Sita Ram Yadav died after he and two others became stuck under debris at the site in Delhi late on Sunday night.
Vijay Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police, who rushed to the site following reports of the incident, has blasted the contractor over poor safety practices.
“Necessary safety precautions were not taken,” Kumar says. “A case will be registered against the contractor.”
Construction of the new hotel began in September, and while the old hotel at the site had been demolished, one wall which was still standing collapsed, trapping Yadav and two of his colleagues. While the two others were rescued immediately, it took more than one hour to locate Yadav, who was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital.
Yadav’s death is just the latest in a series of incidents highlighting problems associated with poor construction practices in India.
Eleven people were killed last month when a three-storey building collapsed in Dhankawadi near Pune, and earlier this month the Supreme Court of Delhi slammed what it described as a lax attitude on the part of authorities with regard to dealing with the ‘menace’ of illegal construction and the persistent flouting of planning rules and approval requirements in affluent areas.
In the latest incident, the yet-to-be-demolished wall was not the only problem with the site. Rescue efforts were hampered by loose mud and the unstable nature of the remainder of the structure, which the rescue team was forced to stabilise with planks of wood.