THE death toll in the building collapse in Mumbra climbed to 74 on Saturday,including 23 women,seven minor boys and 11 minor girls. The tragedy may have rendered at least five children orphans,said officials.
Lying in the casualty wards of civic hospitals at Thane and Kalva,the orphaned children are being looked after by Samaritans and hospital staff.
Local NGOs and couples have shown interest in adopting the orphaned children. Many people came to us,keen to adopt the children. Most of the orphaned kids are very young and unaware of what has happened to the rest of their families, said Mohammad Qasim Sureshi,general secretary of a Muslim NGO in Rabodi.
At the site,the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) called off the rescue operation. No one was removed alive from the rubble today, said R S Rajesh,Assistant Commandant,NDRF.
The Thane Municipal Corporation was not taking any chances with the adjoining building in Lucky Compound,which too was illegally constructed. Soon after the rescue operation was completed,the TMCs disaster management team shifted its focus to the second building that was constructed by the same builder. Though not declared dangerous,it was brought down since it was also built illegally. About 35 families which had occupied this building were vacated on Thursday itself.
Even after the NDRF announced the conclusion of rescue operations,the fire brigade,the disaster management team of the civic body and locals continued the search till late Saturday night. A body of a young child was mangled in the debris. It was removed in the evening. Although we do not expect any one to be rescued now,there is a possibility of more bodies to be trapped in, said Santosh Kadam,head of Thane Municipal Corporations disaster management team.
The officials have not ruled out the possibility of more bodies that could be trapped in. We called off the operation at 10 am after being sure that no one else was trapped inside. We even dug up the basement of the building because it was feared people were trapped in the basement. So we dug it up to satisfy the public as well as ourselves, said Rajesh.
Dean at the Thane Civil hospital R B Kulkarni said,a final report on the status of survivors and unclaimed bodies would be prepared for the state government in six days.