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Yogi sets up probe panel on UP cold storage roof collapse

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SAMBHAL/LUCKNOW, March 17 (PTI): The death toll in a roof collapse incident at a cold storage in Sambhal district climbed to 10 on Friday and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath formed a committee to probe the reasons behind it.

These 10 were among the 21 pulled out from the rubble at the cold storage located on Indira Road under Chandausi police station limits, according to police.

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Twenty-one people have been rescued so far and 10 of them have died. There are also reports that at least three people are severely injured, deputy inspector general (DIG) of Police Shalabh Mathur said.

The rescue operation is still underway, he added.

A government spokesperson in Lucknow said chief minister Adityanath has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased, Rs 50,000 for those critically injured and free treatment for all those who sustained injuries in the incident.

The chief minister has also constituted a probe committee led by the divisional commissioner and the DIG of Moradabad to probe the reasons behind the roof collapse. The committee has been asked to submit its report at the earliest, the spokesperson said.Adityanath also expressed grief over the loss of lives in the incident and directed the concerned officials to ensure proper treatment of the injured, according to the spokesperson.

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Sambhal district magistrate Manish Bansal said five people are undergoing treatment at a Moradabad hospital, while six have been discharged.

The rescue operation, in which the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are also involved, continued through the night, he said.

Searchlights have been installed in the area to facilitate the rescue operation. JCB machines have been pressed into service to remove the debris.

Minister of state for secondary education minister Gulab Devi and Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Minister Dharam Pal Singh reached the collapse site.

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According to police, the collapsed roof was built only three months ago without the necessary permission from the administration and the quantity of potatoes stored at the cold storage was beyond its prescribed capacity.

DIG Mathur told reporters late on Thursday night that rescuers were taking precautions as ammonia gas cylinders were kept in the cold storage.

“A case under section 304A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been lodged against Ankur Agarwal and Rohit Agarwal, the owners of the cold storage,” the DIG had said.

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