MUMBAI: Eleven persons, including seven children, died and 20 others, including a four-year-old boy, were rescued after a three-storeyed building collapsed in Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi town.
The 43-year-old building named Jhilani, caved in at 3.40 am in the wee hours of Monday. The building had 40 flats, with around 150 people living in it.
Thane Disaster Response Force, Fire Brigade and NDRF were engaged in the rescue operation.
Bhiwandi is a power loom town around 10-kms from Thane while 50-kms from Mumbai. NDRF DG S N Pradhan said they were using acanine squad to search people trapped under the debris.
The building was not in the list of dilapidated structures of the Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation.
#WATCH Maharashtra: Rescue operation by NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) underway at the site of building collapse in Bhiwandi, Thane.— ANI (@ANI) September 21, 2020
Eight people have lost their lives in the incident which took place earlier today. pic.twitter.com/dFvXwhHPH3
Bhiwandi DCP Rajkumar Shinde said offences under sections 337,338,304 (2)of the IPC were being registered against the owner of building Sayyed Ahmed Jilani following a complaint by the civic officials after the collapse.
Thane guardian minister Eknath Shinde said a probe would take place. He visited the site and announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each victim.
Shinde said 102 buildings are dangerous in Bhiwandi where evacuation has been already done.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish at the loss of lives in the building collapse.
"Saddened by the building collapse in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra. Condolences to the bereaved families. Praying for a quick recovery of those injured. Rescue operations are underway and all possible assistance is being provided to the affected," Modi tweeted.
Saddened by the building collapse in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra. Condolences to the bereaved families. Praying for a quick recovery of those injured. Rescue operations are underway and all possible assistance is being provided to the affected.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 21, 2020
Expressing pain, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray instructed the administration to ensure proper rescue operation is conducted and the injured are given proper care.
An eyewitness said local residents rushed to the spot immediately after the building collapse and helped pull out some persons from the debris.
The power supply to the locality was snapped as a precautionary measure, an official said. He also said that the injured were shifted to the hospital and are under care.