MIRPUR - In the continual rescue operations for over last 30 hours, one person namely Nadeem Roopayal, owner of the collapsed Roopayal marriage hall, was found dead besides the rescuing of 19 staffers and the laborers from the rubble of the mega 5-storey building of the marriage hall in adjoining town Chaksawari in Mirpur Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK), a senior official said on Saturday.

The 5-storey building of Roopayal marriage-cum-banquet hall caved-in Chakswari town about 45 KM from Mirpur Divisional Headquarter of AJK on Friday morning, leaving about two dozens of the persons trapped in the rubble.

When contacted Commissioner Mirpur division Chudhary Muhammad Raqeeb told media that the body of unfortunate owner of the marriage hall Nadeem Roopayal was recovered from the rubble late Friday by the rescue teams of Pak Army and the 1122 rescuers.

The Commissioner said that 19 of the persons were rescued so far from the fully-collapsed mega structure of the marriage hall including four in serious conditions.

Raqeeb said that only two persons including Raheel Nadeem son of the owner late Nadeem Roopayal and a Waiter were still lying trapped in the rubble and rescue teams were fully engaged to recover both of them in safe condition.

He told that the seriously injured manager of the marriage hall, identified as Waqar, had been shifted to the trauma center at Quaid-e-Azam Hospital in Islamabad. Besides 3 other grievously injured persons were admitted in Mirpur Divisional HQ Teaching Hospital where their condition was stated to be out of danger, he added.

To a question, the Commissioner said that because of the Friday and that smart lock down there were lesser number of the persons in the marriage hall – who were engaged in renovation work of the building.

The five-storey building complex of Roopayal Marriage cum Banquet hall had collapsed suddenly at about 11.30 am on Friday when the renovation work in the building was in progress.

The rescue teams belonging to Pak Army headed by Brig Saeed and Brig Irfan, teams of State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), Rescue 1122, civil defense, local volunteers and police immediately rushed the scene of occurrence to join the relief works to rescue over 20 of the victims from the rubble.

The victims including owner of the ill-fated building – identified as Choudhry Nadeem Roopayal and his son Raheel Nadeem who were also trapped in the collapsed structure of the building. 

The cause of the building collapse could not be ascertained so far. The authorities are investigating.