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Mahad building collapse: Rescue operations end, toll now 16, consultant arrested

State Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar, who visited the spot on Tuesday, announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family members who have lost their loved ones and Rs 50,000 to those critically injured in the incident.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: August 27, 2020 11:42:30 am
mahad building collapse, mahad building collapse deaths, mahad building collapse rescue operations, Mahad building collapse arrests, Mahad building collapse builder arrested(Clockwise from left) Residents rummage through rubbles at the collapse site; debris being removed. (Photo by Narendra Vaskar)

Rescue operations that lasted over 40 hours concluded on Wednesday afternoon, with the toll in the Tarique Garden building collapse in Mahad rising to 16.

While 13 deaths were reported until Tuesday, early Wednesday, the NDRF recovered the bodies of Abdul Hamid Kazi (58) and Habiba Hajwane (80). Close to 11 am, the body of 63-year-old Kamrunissa Ansari was removed from under the debris. Following this, the search and rescue operations concluded by noon.

Also Read | Mahad building collapse: Raigad dist admin to carry out structural audits of other projects by same developer, engineer, architect

State Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar, who visited the spot on Tuesday, announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family members who have lost their loved ones and Rs 50,000 to those critically injured in the incident. The decision was approved by the state Cabinet on Wednesday.

The five-storey structure with 41 flats had caved in around 6.30 pm on Monday. While one man died on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest when he was being treated for injuries, the bodies of 12 trapped under the massive heap of rubble were removed by NDRF on Tuesday.

Also Read | Raigad building collapse: Rescued after 19 hours, child yet to be told his mother, sisters are no more

A day after it registered an FIR against five persons, the Raigad police on Wednesday arrested the consultant of the building, Bahubali Dhamne, from his residence in Navi Mumbai. He was produced before a court in Mangaon and remanded in police custody for five days. Confirming the arrest, Raigad SP Anil Paraskar said further investigation is underway.

“Dhamne was in charge of overseeing the raw material (supplied for the construction of the building). It is with his consultation that the material was used for construction purposes,” said a police officer.

Also Read | Mahad building collapse: ‘Rescue of 4-year-old boy gave strength to go on, my heart sank with each body removed’

The building was constructed by Farooq Kazi, a resident of Taloja in Navi Mumbai, with permissions granted in 2009. The structure was completed by 2013.

Kazi, Dhamne and architect Gaurav Shah were booked under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to muder), 304A (causing death by negligence), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code.

Former Mahad Municipal Council chief Dipak Jhisand, and Shashikant Dighe, junior construction inspector at the council, have also been booked. A search is on for the others named in the FIR, said police.

Also Read | No roof above head, residents of 41 flats worry what lies ahead: ‘We are only getting verbal assurances of help’

Collector Nidhi Choudhari said, “The work of removing the debris is 95 per cent complete. While one NDRF team is still in Mahad, the other two have been relieved.”

“We have asked for a list of people who wish to avail temporary government accommodation. We have provided two halls and some rooms for the purpose,” she added.

Urban Development and Public Works Department Minister Eknath Shinde, a senior Shiv Sena leader, said he will bear the responsibility of “parenting” the two four-year-old boys who had lost their family members in the incident.

While four-year-old Mohamed Bangi was rescued 19 hours after the building gave way, Ahmed Sheikhnag, also aged four, managed to escape from the building in the nick of time. His family members were not as lucky.

Shinde said fixed deposits worth Rs 10 lakh would be made in their name. The expenses of their education will be borne by his son and MP Shrikant Shinde’s Dr Shrikant Shinde Foundation, he added.

According to the Raigad district administration, of the 97 residents of 41 flats in the A and B wings of Tarique Garden, 78 escaped unhurt after they fled the building when it started to shake on Monday evening. Nine injured are being treated in hospitals in Mahad. Of the 16 deceased, three were minors.

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