Toll in Mumbra building collapse mounts to 74

The National Disaster Response Force called off the rescue operations at the site

Written by SUKANYA SHANTHA | Thane | Published: April 7, 2013 1:27 am

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 them. “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.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) called off the rescue operations at the site. “No one was removed alive from the rubble today,” said R S Rajesh,Assistant Commandant,NDRF.

The Thane Municipal Corporation was not taking chances with the adjoining building in Lucky Compound,which too was illegally constructed. Soon after the rescue operation was completed,the TMC’s disaster management team shifted its focus to the second building constructed by the same builder. Though not declared “dangerous”,it was brought down since it too was built illegally.

Even after the NDRF announced the conclusion of rescue operations,the fire brigade,TMC’s disaster management team 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… there is a possibility of more bodies to be trapped,” said Santosh Kadam,head of TMC’s disaster management team.

“We called off the operation at 10 am after being sure that no one else was trapped inside,” said Rajesh.

Absconding builders arrested

Mumbai: The Thane Crime Branch Saturday arrested both the builders who had constructed the ill-fated seven-storey building in Mumbra whose collapse claimed 74 lives. While Jameel Shaikh was picked up from Siddharth Nagar in Uttar Pradesh,Salim Shaikh was arrested from Thane,said Thane Police Commissioner K P Raghuvanshi. Both the builders had gone into hiding after the collapse. Both have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder. ENS

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