Sunday, 5 January 2014

Newly completed 5 storey building collapsed in Canacona, Goa

Newly built 5 storey building came crashing down on 4.1.2014,  2.30pm killing at least  32 workers.
Ruby Residency, located at Chawdi, Canacona next to Mamlatdar offices complex NH17. Rescue operations still on and likely to continue till  end of 6th Jan. Unofficial deaths figure says upto 40.  Exact number of workers working on site at the time is not known as the supervisors, contractors, builders  runaway 'Farar'. FIR registered against them only a supervisor arrested so far, says the  Local MLA /Minister Tawadkar.
He also said  CM has announced Rs.2 lakhs to the family of those killed..

Of the deaths, at least 6 were locals (5 bodies found of the 6) and majority others from Migrant community.

updated: 30.12.14
Additional Rs.1.25 lakhs to be given to the family of the 6 Goan Victims on  the 1st anniversary of the Tragedy 4.1.15 by the BJP Govt.

 A team of 29 painters were also on the job on the fateful day but luckily they were on their Tea beak. Another 5-6 locals labourers took half day off to attend the 3 day folk festival in the area. The festival is now stand cancelled

There are some reports that a pregnant wife of a worker along with 2 kids was living in a flat of the collapsed building, whereabouts of her and kids not known yet

Locals say, earlier,  there occurred another tragedy same residency  where two people died after a slab collapsed. However, the local MLA and Minister Ramesh Tawadkar  who is also the resident of the Ruby Residency denies it.

Many Locals also say that the area once belonged to God (Hindu)..

Update: 06.01.14 noon
Deaths Toll  rise to 17
Atleast another 10-15 feared trapped under the debris, after 72hrs of rescue operations
Rescue operation stopped as the other adjacent 2 buildings are showing sign of collapsing
Total rescued alive 22

Update: 7.01.14 morning
Official  death toll Canacona Building tragedy, also as per GOA Chief Minister CM Parrikar is 17.
But Navhind Times says 29  at least in 3 different news items today 7.1.14.
May be it has included those 12 missing  (12 untraceable as per CM).
Rescue work has been stopped since yesterday due to fear of collapsing the adjacent building blocks. Feel really sorry for those died and still remain trapped under the debris.

Rescue work started after a break of 25 hours i.e. around 3pm 7/1/14 but this time not with machinery but manual labours who are engaged to break the concrete slabs manually using hand tools like Sledge Hammers.  Other professional rescuers were seen wearing safety helmets but these labourers were not - see fresh pics and video

Some reports says, another body found late evening today making the official death toll to 18 now.

Update: 8.1.14
With discovery of 3 more bodies, the total now is 21 (some says 22)
I have seen, from a distance,  they carry two bodies  upto the hearse van - watch video 3.
Rescue work is very very slow, so far, it appears that only 20% of the clearing up (of debris)  done.
80% remaining could mean more and more bodies still to found.

Labourers who were engaged yesterday evening (w/o safety helmets) were not seen today

Update: 11.1.14
Death toll rises to 29

Update: 12.1.14
Death toll rise to 31

Update 13.1.14
Another body found Total now 32
One of the injured also dies in hospital Total now 33

more updates and pics / videos see below
Update: 14.1.14
Official death toll as per Govt. is 31

Update: 15.1.14
Chief Minister now say there is no need to demolish any buildings as the rescue or clearing up work is over

 Addl Collector North Goa – Vanancio Furtado
Goa Fire Services chief  Ashok Menon, Local MLA /Sports Minister who is also a resident of the same residency, also seen in the pic

 the Residency – Front side, main gate / entrance

Ramesh Tawadkar, a resident

Director, Goa fire Services – Ashok Menon


Mamlatdar / BDO / Collector’s building offices

Backside view – Rescue operation etc

The collapsed section got detached from this standing block (at joint)


a section of collapsed portion


Cracks / hanging slab

Probably the passage way (foot bridge) between the two blocks, one being collapsed


in ruins – columns, slabs etc


National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Rescue workers


from the inside road

Fresh pics dated 7.1.2014

A view from the main road NH17 next to Mamlatdar building.
the building seen is the one standing behind the collapsed one (when viewed from the rear)
which also reportedly appears to be shaky or tilted.
To be demolished within 4 days

Entry Prohibited, stay 100 meters away due to fear of falling buildings

The site

with NDRF man

Labourers just arrived in a truck

View from another angles, the buildings

The 2 buildings you see here  (plus 1) will be razed to ground by 11th evening (This did not happen yet as of 14.1.14)
Bombay based Matte and Associates demolishing squad is engaged to do the job. They will take it down one per day by virtually cutting it into two, so says CM.
Volvo Excavators will arrive late tonite 8/1/14 says Sudin

The two buildings - view from front side

 Front view – Ruby Residency

Some residents seen

With workers shanties / slums

It was a rocky hill
View from behind the other standing building which will be demolished soon

At the foothill, few meters away – Cowshed

 another view of rocks in-between the two blocks

One of the lucky survivors, Mr. Husein Sab, from Bellary District, Karnataka. He is a mason was doing some cement plastering work on the ground floor. A heavy beam rested on his hand (fingers injured), he struggle for 30 minutes, eventually he managed to free himself by making used of his other hand and bricks/Slab pieces as tools

Work resumed after 25hrs break
This time no heavy machinery used but engaged some labourers to break the  concrete slab etc with hand tools like metal sledge hammers. Work started 3pm. Stopped 2 pm yesterday
No safety helmets provided to labourers

Cracks in the retaining wall (due to heavy JCB machinery etc)

Church of St, Thereza of Jesus

Video: Feast eve

Canacona Municipal council
That issue construction licenses and Occupancy Certificate

Update 8.1.2014

 3 more bodies found today..
Rescue staff carrying dead body

The site – NDRF team etc
Labourers engaged yesterday evening were not seen today

Truck loads of Red mud dumped at the site
(probably to make way for the Volvo heavy Machinery arriving late night)

 Inside the Ruby Residency

Relatives and friends anxiouly waiting to identify the found bodies

the two standing building likely to be demolished (Looks like there is a change in the Govt. policy now, no official information available on its demolition)

 Addl Collector South Goa Vanancio Furtado

 Local MLA Subash Phaldesai

 Engineers doing the testing work of the standing building

 Building within the rock

 On the Road NH17

Ruby Residency is behind this mini Sports complex

Narrow access Road to the Ruby  Residency

Update: 9.1.14
Death toll rise to 25 as of 6pm (some news papers put it 27)
Saw  NDRF carrying two bodies around 5pm

Volvo Hydraulic jaw crusher / Cutter / Cruncher was in action
EC290B Prime.

Today's pics

Volvo Hydraulic Jaw crusher, cutter – In action

Police Mamas also watching in style

the Crowd / Public

The crusher, cutter, lifter, cruncher etc

3 more bodies found – Total as of 6pm 25

A lady doctor on the edge (cracked wall), she was told to move back

 High reach ladder from Goa fire services
Aerial ladder platform

Update: 10.1.14

Mr. Parrikar Inaugurated Mini Sports Complex
Behind which is the Ruby Residency

Clearing work / Rescue work


Collapsed portion behind the Duplex


Chief Minister Parrikar arrives 4pm
With Adl Collector Vanancio Furtado, PWD Minister Sudin Davlikar,
Sports Minister and Local MLA Ramesh Tawadkar etc

Clearing up work stops..
Demolishing of duplex  Bungalow or villa  begins

TV interview on


Update: 11.1.2014

New pics from the top / Site

 Here you can see 4 of the 6 collapsed slabs
One fallen out same day  and the other pushed down by Volvo crusher on 10/1/14

Carrying a body

It took them about 100 minutes (more than 1.5hrs) to retrieve a body which was badly entangled with beams, iron rods etc. Spotted at 3.15pm finally pulled out at 4.55pm.
As the hearse van about to leave at 5.15, they spotted another body with just head and shoulders visible, as if the body in standing position. NDRF  and Goa fire Services doing tuff / good job. Volvo Crusher had to pull out pipes, rods, beams etc. It even had to break the retaining wall as seen in pic

The building
Minister Avertano Furtado
MLA Subash Phaldesai, Benjamin D’Silva
 PWD Minister Sudin Davlikar

update 13.1.14
One more body found, hopefully the last one
Total now 32 deaths, unofficially 15 more
Another one dies in the hospital, so total 33

Last body found from the cleared debris that was pushed down (behind the semi-demolished duplex Villa).
I thought I saw a body also tumbling down with the top slab which was pushed down by the Volvo Jaw Crusher or Cruncher  i.e. on  10.1.14. 
11th and 12th all the cleared debris from the top was pushed down
13th, already cleared debris was searched again to trace a missing body reported by the co-workers / relatives. It was found here deep down around 3pm (13.1.14)

The body in the hearse van

Victim’s relatives

Cleared debris into the fields

 Kitchen sink / tub

 Iron, steel rods etc

Infront of Ruby Residency


access Road to the Residency
Leading to Main road NH17 as seen

Protest held on 12.1.14

Video 1   5.1.14

Video 2:  7th Jan. 2014

Video 3 8.1.14 - More bodies found today

Video 4  - Day 6 (9.1.14) - Volvo crusher / cutter in action etc

Video 5 - Day 7 - 10.1.14. Parrikar arrives, demolition starts

Video 6 -  Day 8, 11.1.14 4 more bodies found..

Video 7  Day 10,  13.1.14

Look out Notice..

January 17,  2015 news
Elusive Ruby Residency developers held in Mumbai
PANJIM: In a major breakthrough, Crime Branch sleuths arrested the former directors of Bharat Developers and Realtors Pvt Ltd, in Mumbai, on Friday evening. The two proclaimed offenders had fled Goa after the collapse of their under-construction building Ruby Residency on January 4, 2014 that killed 31 persons. 
Pradip Singh Birring, a British passport holder and Jagdeep Kumar Sehgal, were arrested in a joint operation by Goa and Mumbai Crime Branch at Vashi, Crime Branch Superintendent of  Police  Kartik Kashyap said.
“We got information that they were in Mumbai. After camping there for three days and verifying their identity, we arrested them at Vashi, on Friday, at 4 pm,” Kashyap told Herald. 
The Goa Crime Branch team has obtained a transit warrant from a local court in Mumbai to escort both of them to Goa for custodial interrogation. Kashyap said they are expected to reach Goa on Saturday. 
The Crime Branch is ready to file a chargesheet before the Margao Sessions Court in the coming week.
Interestingly, Birring was traced to Manchester until last week, as the Crime Branch was in regular contact with Interpol to extradite him to India, once the chargesheet was filed. The IPS officer, responding to this reporter’s question about Birring’s international travel, asserted that custodial interrogation will throw light about his activities since he escaped from Goa. 
“We want to seek answers to an ample number of questions from him, how he escaped from India and returned; where he took shelter; what was he doing during this period and how many properties he sold, if any,” Kashyap said. Sehgal, on the other hand, was apparently in India and hiding in Mumbai.
The Crime Branch had already attached their properties worth Rs 30 crore during the investigation. 
Two days ago, Herald had reported that Crime Branch will file a chargesheet in the case next Wednesday after a legal opinion from the Directorate of Prosecution, where the file is currently being studied.
The voluminous chargesheet against 11 accused, including eight government officials, comprises 2,600 pages including forensic reports and statements of 125-odd witnesses. 

Accused in the case:
• Town and Country Planning draftsman Ramesh Naik
• Additional Collector-I North Goa Deepak Desai
• Deputy Collector Prashant Shirodkar
• Deputy Collector Pradip Naik
• Deputy Town Planner Prakash Bandodkar
• Municipal engineer Ajay Desai
• Former Municipal Engineer Ashank Manju Naik Gaunkar
• Canacona Municipal Council engineer Suhas Fal Desai
• Contractor Vishwas Desai

Jan. 27, 2015 update

Court grants Birring, Sehgal conditional bail
PANAJI: The two accused in the Canacona building collapse case— Pradip Singh Birring and Jagdeep Kumar Sehgal—were granted conditional bail by a special court in Panaji on Wednesday.

Both accused have been asked to furnish a bail bond of 2lakh each and have been prevented from entering Canacona as investigations into the case are still on.

The accused have been ordered to report to the crime branch in Panaji every day for 15 days and also to be present as and when required by the investigating officers.

The duo will also have to surrender their passports and will not be able to leave Goa as the investigations are on.

After evading arrest for over a year, Birring and Sehgal, former directors of Bharat Developers and Realtors Pvt Ltd, were arrested in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, by Goa crime branch sleuths this month.

The duo are the main accused in the Ruby Residency case involving the collapse of an under-construction building in Chaudi, Canacona, on January 4, 2014, which killed 31 people.

The Goa government had come under severe criticism on January 4, one year after the tragedy, for failing to arrest Birring and Sehgal. Following a court order, the crime branch had attached property belonging to the construction firm, while 11 government servants and the contractor have been arrested so far.

June 2015 news

Ruby collapse: Buyers get 50K compensation, refund

Panaji: The state consumer commission has directed Bharat Developers & Realtors Pvt Ltd to pay compensation of 50,000 to purchasers of a flat in the Ruby Residency building in Canacona, which collapsed, causing mental tension to the buyers. The builders have to also refund the purchasers the amount paid for buying the flat.

The commission held that the Mumbai-based complainants are entitled to receive an amount of 1,27,807 from the opposite party that was spent by them on account of a trip made to Goa after the collapse of the building.

Complainants Sarosh Kolah and Gulshan Kolah had paid an amount of 16,91,089 to the company for the flat, and, in addition, a sum of 53,750 was paid for special windows. The flat was to be delivered to the complainants within 24 months on or before September 21, 2012. The aggrieved parties also claimed 1.27 lakh that was spent on trips made to Goa after the collapse. They also sought 50,000 as additional expenditure incurred.

Goa state consumer disputes redressal commission president N A Britto and member Vidhya R Gurav stated, "We, therefore, direct the OP (opposite party) to pay to the complainants the sums of 16,91,089, 53,750 and 1,27,807 with pending and future interest at the rate of 18% from the date of payment of the respective instalments, within a period of 30 days. The complainants are also held entitled to a compensation of 50,000 for mental tension and costs of 10,000."

No proof is placed on record regarding the additional expenditure of 50,000, the commission noted.

The complainants stated that after the collapse of Ruby Residency resulting in the loss of 31 human lives,they tried to get in touch with the office of the company but could not contact anyone. They, therefore, made a trip to Goa, to the registered office of the company spending a sum of 1,27,807.

The company stated that the complainants have not established deficiency of service and they had carried out the construction after obtaining necessary permissions from the authorities. The opposite party also pointed out that Ranbir Singh Birring, the brother of the former director of the company, Pradeep Singh Birring, also owned a flat in the collapsed portion. In case, the material used was of inferior quality, Pradeep Singh Birring would not allow his brother to purchase a flat in the building, the company pointed out. It was also argued that the company cannot be saddled with the liability of 1,27,807 that was spent by the complainants to come to Goa.

This is the 10th consumer complaint lodged in connection with the collapse of one of the buildings of Ruby Residency. Nine complaints were disposed off by the state commission by a common order in February.

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