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Mumbai building collapse kills 12, injures 19

Published On : 26 Jul 2017   |  Reported By : Courtesy : The Hindu   |  Pic On: Ronida Mumbai

Mumbai, (The Hindu): Two wings of a four-storey building in Ghatkopar collapsed on Tuesday, killing at least 12 and injuring 19. Rescue operations were under way late into the night. Emergency responders said several people were trapped under the debris.

The 35-year-old Sai Darshan society building collapsed around 10.40 a.m. Multiple people in the area called the fire brigade and the police control room.

The fire brigade sent 15 fire-engines and two rescue vans, and the municipal corporation despatched four excavators, six dumpers, and 300 workers to clear the debris. The National Disaster Response Force sent a squad of 50. Residents and employees of commercial establishments in the neighbourhood also pitched in to help. The deceased and injured were taken to nearby hospitals.

The police set up barricades, deployed crowd control personnel and cleared the roads to the nearest hospitals.

The deceased are Renuka Lalit Thak (three months), Amruta Lalit Thak, 40, Ranjanaben Shah, 62, Rutvi Shah, 14, Sulakshnana Khanchandani, 80, Kishor Khanchandani, Mikul Khan Chandani, Pandharinath Dongre and Manorama Dongre and their grandson Krishu Dongre (one-and-a-half), Mansukhbhai Gajjar, 85, and Divya Ajmera, 54.

Two dozen still trapped

NDRF personnel said that from their inquiries, they suspect that around 24 people are still trapped under the rubble. They expected operations will continue for several hours. Two firemen were also injured during rescue efforts.

The infant Renuka Thak was among the first to be pulled out of the rubble. “I pulled out the little girl out of the rubble, it was the saddest thing to have carried a dead baby in my hands and take her to the hospital,” said Bhavik Purohit, a resident of the nearby Shantiniketan Society.

Hardik Mehta (19), another Shantiniketan resident, said, “I was at home when the incident occurred. My uncle, who stays in the adjacent building, called me and asked me to rush downstairs immediately. There was a lot of debris and a lot of smoke and dust in the air. I am here since morning, and doing my bit providing food and water to the family members of the ones trapped within. It is such a terrible thing to happen to anyone.”

Roshni Choughule (27), a receptionist in an office in the area, said, “I came to the office some 10 minutes after the collapse. There was a lot of chaos and people running helter-skelter. I quickly made some tea and served it to the people around, along with water and some other refreshments. I saw the three-month-old baby being pulled out and I pray to God that no one should go through such a thing ever in their lives.”

The cause is unclear, but surviving residents say that the ground floor, which had been leased out to Shakuntala Maternity and Surgical Home, was being renovated, and that the collapse was possibly due to damage to a load-bearing column or beam. Civic officials are investigating whether the recent heavy rains weakened the structure.

The BMC has set up a committee to verify whether the renovation on the ground floor of the building was being carried out with due permissions from the civic body. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also announced an inquiry, and has directed the municipal commissioner to submit the report within 15 days.

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