The death toll of the building crash here increased to 16 with the rescue operation staff taking out one more body from the debris in the wee hours on Sunday.
The deceased, identified as Veerappa Hadapad, was a casual laborer from Turukara Sheegihalli village in Bailhongal taluk of Belagavi district. His body was traced in the debris at about 2.30 a.m. The operation by the NDRF, SDRF and State Fire and Emergency Services teams continued for the sixth day on Sunday to trace more people believed to be stuck in the debris.
According to the complaint, Vaghu Vithal Jere (37), a mason from Holtikoti; Sahadev Salunke (50), a supervisor of the building from Kamakshi Colony, Dharwad; and Dhakalu Dadu Kokre (45), a mason of Holtikoti, who were working in the building are missing and believed to have been trapped in the debris. Additional Deputy Commissioner Suresh Itnal said they are hopeful of tracing the remaining bodies by Monday morning.
The work on clearing the debris has reached the final stage as earthmovers have reached the basement level and are being used. Six motorcycles were unearthed from the basement of the building so far. The district administration has started distributing the materials including cash box, bikes, a laptop and more. A ‘lost and found cell’ has been opened here where the materials found under the debris have been deposited. An announcement was being made asking claimants to collect their belongings after showing documents.
Meanwhile, 28 injured, against the total 35 who were admitted at a hospital were discharged on Sunday.