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Sports building fire: The building is weakened beyond repair, says expert- The New Indian Express

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Express news service

HYDERABAD: The structural stability of the Deccan Knitwear Sports Accessories building, a basement+ G+ five-storey complex that was ravaged by fire for over 24 hours on Thursday and Friday, has been seriously compromised. The intensity of the heat on the first floor of the building is still so high that authorities are concerned that it is not safe for rescue teams to venture inside and locate the bodies of three missing people.

According to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the plaster of the building is peeling off in several areas, including pillars, and rescue teams fear that large debris may fall apart. The building is completely covered in thick, dark soot and emits a strong charred smell in the surrounding area. To assess the strength of the building, the GHMC has taken the help of director of the National Institute of Technology Prof NV Ramana Rao, who is an expert in building and structural engineering. Using a skylift arranged by the fire service, he reached all levels of the five-storey building to carry out a non-destructive test (NDT).

Non-destructive testing

Speaking to TNIE, NIT director Prof NV Ramana Rao said he will conduct a non-destructive test (NDT) to assess the stability of the building. He believes that the high combustible material had amplified the nature of the fire and caused major damage to the structure of the building. “The building is very weak. The plates are heavily damaged. We need to perform a non-destructive test to assess its strength. After the test, we will recommend the GHMC to either strengthen or demolish the building,” said Ramana Rao. However, he believed that the building now appears to be weakened beyond repair.

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Asked further if the building can be demolished as it is constructed in L-shape and surrounded by several buildings in close quarters, he said that controlled methods can be used to ensure that the building does not tilt during demolition. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. While authorities had said on Thursday that it could have been triggered by a short circuit, fire and power department officials on Friday ruled out that as the cause. The extent of the damage and the damage is still unclear, as the intensity of the heat and the structural instability of the building make it difficult for rescue teams to access the affected areas.

Building plaster is peeling off in several areas

According to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the plaster of the building is peeling off in several areas, including pillars, and rescue teams fear that large debris may fall apart. The building is completely covered in thick, dark soot and emits a strong charred smell in the surrounding area.