MUMBAI: More than 24 hours after the collapse of a residential building in Dongri area here, the search and rescue operation for survivors was called off Wednesday, officials said.
No more survivors were found at the site of the building crash located in a congested lane in south Mumbai, they said.
The four-storey illegal building had caved in at around 11.40 am Tuesday, killing 14 people. Multiple agencies, including the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), had launched a search and rescue operation to locate survivors under the debris.
"The search and rescue operation has been called off after removal of the debris and search of the entire area," Sachidanand Gawde, PRO of the NDRF battalion engaged in the exercise, said.
NDRF personnel were at the site for over 28 hours. He said a total of 23 people were taken out from the crash site, of which 14 died and nine were injured and admitted in hospital for treatment.
"Seven men, four women and three children succumbed to injuries, while two men, five women and two children are admitted in hospital," Gawde said.
High population density in the area and a large crowd of onlookers gathered at the site posed a challenge in carrying out the search and rescue operation, according to another NDRF official.
Speaking to PTI, Anupam Srivastava, Commandant, NDRF, said overcrowding hampered the use of equipment during the exercise.
"Broadly, we had three crucial equipment to locate people trapped under the rubble. These instruments can sense heartbeat, vibration and location of survivors. These machines need peaceful atmosphere. However, due to overcrowding, we faced a lot of difficulties while operating these instruments and had to carry out our operation using sniffer dogs," he said.
The structure that collapsed was an illegal extension of the `Kesarbai' building located on Tandel Street in Dongri, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) said.