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07 Dec 2019, Edition - 1607, Saturday

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Coimbatore

17 lives lost to nature’s fury in Mettupalayam. How did it happen?

Neya Tabitha

Mettupalayam: The tragic incident where 17 people died after a compound wall collapsed on their houses brings to fore, once again the nature’s fury and the inability of the machineries to avert such mass casualties.

The consistent rains from 3:30 am at the Nadur village in Mettupalayam had caused a 6-foot compound wall belonging to Chakravarthi Garments, a textile company from Tiruppur, to collapse on three houses, situated below, killing 17 people, out of which 12 women, 3 men and 2 children have lost their lives.

The people in the neighborhood heard a loud rumbling noise and immediately rushed out to find that the wall had collapsed on the houses. The public immediately swung into action to rescue those trapped in the debris. Though ambulance and fire services were called, none survived.

This incident happened around 5:30 am, when the poorly constructed wall, fell prey to the Northeast monsoon rains. Also the houses were constructed in poromboke land and since the land was a slope, the rain water that collected in the basement of the wall gave way and fell due to its weak foundation.

The families residing in these houses had gotten together this weekend for a wedding in their family. Little did they know that their roof would come down crashing leading to their unfortunate demise.

The deceased were taken to the Mettupalayam Government Hospital where they were identified as, Nithiya, Ramnath, Harisudha, Sivagami, Oviyammal, Vaideghi, Thilagavathi, Arukkani, Rukmani, Nivetha and Chinnammal, Anandha kumar, Guru, Akshay and Logaram.

The fire and Rescue Services are yet to retrieve the other two members who have been buried underneath the debris.

Lakshmanan one of the concerned neighbors said that a few years back the people of that locality had complained about the wall (being in a dilapidated state) to the local municipal corporation but no action was taken.

K. Rajamani, the District Magistrate, had visited the spot and said that Rs four lakh would be given to each of the deceased family members as solatium by the government.

He urged the Mettupalayam Thasildar to lodge a complaint to the Police and take further actions based on the investigation.

Pradeep John. R, the Tamil Nadu weatherman took to twitter to share his grievances on the incident and said that Mettupalayam had faced 180mm of rain and 283mm in Nellithurai in just few hours following a cloud burst.

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