Dharwad: The death toll in the building collapse in Dharwad, Karnataka, has touched seven on Wednesday. 

Operations continue to be underway even after a day since the incident. Around 15 to 20 people are believed to be trapped under the debris.

Among those who are still stuck under the rubble are a group of 10 students, who were in the building to get a photocopy from a cyber cafe, an eyewitness said. 

The others, who are trapped, were working on the ground floor of the building, which has sunk beneath the ground after the crash. There were five floors in the building, including a basement and a ground floor. 

Rescue operations intensified after the arrival of three teams of 11 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel along with specialised equipment like breathing apparatus, life detectors. The NDRF personnel have arrived from Ghaziabad and Bengaluru. 

As many as 80 officials from the Fire and Emergency Services were also flown in from Bengaluru to help with operations. 

The under-construction building in Kumareshwara Nagar in Dharwad collapsed on Tuesday afternoon at 3:40pm. 

Officials began rescue operations on Tuesday evening to locate people trapped under the debris. 

The operations continued on Wednesday morning and the chief minister’s office confirmed that as many as 53 persons had been rescued and that three among them were critical. The injured persons are being treated at the Civil Hospital in the city. 

One of the owners of the building is Gangadhar Shintry, a relative of Congress leader Vinay Kulkarni. The owners of the building had obtained a partial completion certificate from the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation.

A case has been filed under section 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC against the owners of the building and a special team will be constituted to investigate the case and arrest the culprits.