MUMBAI: AT least 12 persons, including a three-month-old infant died and over a dozen were feared trapped under the debris of a residential building that collapsed at eastern Mumbai’s Ghatkoper on Tuesday morning. Officials have said the toll may increase.
NDRF personnel rescued 16 residents but at least 15 more are feared trapped under the debris, officials from the state disaster management cell told the New Indian Express. Two wings of the ground plus four-storied Sai Darshan collapsed at around 10.45 .
Those rescued are being sent to BMC’s Rajawaid hospital, said fire brigade chief Pratap Rahangadale. Rescue operations will continue through the night and temporary shelters have been created at a nearby BMC school, he added.
A nursing home on the ground floor was being renovated and didn’t have any patients. The first floor was used for commercial purposes while the rest of the building was occupied by 12 families, residents said while blaming the alterations during renovation for the collapse.
Housing minister and local MLA Prakash Mehta said that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered an inquiry, while Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, Mayor of Mumbai, who visited the site said the building was in good condition.
“This was a man made calamity. Sunil Shitap (owner of the nursing home and the commercial offices) always used to terrify us. He made alterations at will and nobody asked him due to his political connections,” said Vinita Ramchandani who lost her mother in the disaster.
Shitap is a Shiv Sena worker and his wife had contested the BMC election on a Shiv Sena ticket, residents said, while Shiv Sena denied the information.