MUMBAI: AT least three people, including two women, died and seven were injured when a four-storeyed building collapsed in Bhiwandi in Thane district on Friday morning.
The seven-year-old building in Nayi Basti area on the Bhiwandi-Kalyan road was said to have been constructed illegally on forest land. The owner of the building has been arrested.
A district offical confirmed that the ‘Tahir Biznor’ building was unauthorised. Seven families lived in the building. Not many of them were inside when the building fell around 8.30 am, said Asmita Nikam, the District Disaster Management Control Officer.
The body of Ruksar Yakub Khan, 19, was recovered by rescue personnel. Two others — Ashfaq Mushtaq Khan, 38, and Zebunnisa Rafiq Ansari, 61 — died in hospital during treatment late in the evening.
Rescue operations are underway. Eight to ten people are still feared to be trapped under the debris, the Regional Disaster Management Cell chief Santosh Kadam said.
Five others who have been rescued, including a six-year-old boy, have been admitted to the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, he added.
The building, which was in poor condition, fell on an adjoining small building, increasing the number of people trapped below the rubble, said DYSP Manoj Patil. Narrow roads were impeding rescue operations, he said.
National Disaster Response Force teams have been conducting the rescue and relief operation, along with fire-brigade personnel from Bhiwandi, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan and Mumbi Municipal Corporations.