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Mumbai building collapse highlights: Death toll rises to 24, CM announces ex-gratia of five lakhs for kin of those dead

Mumbai building collapse: At least 22 people have been killed. An NDRF team immediately reached the spot. Rescue operations are underway.

By: Express Web Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: August 31, 2017 11:42:18 pm
Mumbai building collapse: Members of the NDRF and the Mumbai Fire Brigade carry out rescue operations at the collapse site in Bhendi Bazaar, Mumbai. Express Photo/Nirmal Harindran

At least 24 people have been killed and dozens injured after a ground plus six-storey building collapsed in Mumbai’s Byculla area on Thursday morning. At least 30 people have been rescued so far with dozens reported to be trapped under the rubble. Teams of the NDRF and the Fire Brigade are at the spot engaged in rescue operations. 90 NDRF personnel, dog squad, 10 fire tenders, two rescue vans and several ambulances are at the site of the collapse which has been categorised as a level III emergency by the fire brigade.

Photos: Building collapse in Bhendi Bazaar, Mumbai

Speaking to the Indian Express, MLA Amin Patel said, “A notice to vacate the building was issued to tenants. Fifty per cent had vacated the building while the rest remained,” he said. The structure was old and there were frequent complaints of leakages. Patel said six families were residing in it. The injured are being rushed to the nearby JJ hospital.

The Husaini building was located on Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, Pakmodia street opposite Husaini hall, a marriage hall of the Dawoodi Bohra community. A Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) spokesperson confirmed the building is part of the cluster redevelopment of the entire area near Raudat Tahera. Mumbai building collapse: The top developments

Mumbai building collapse LIVE Updates 

11:40 pm: 10 fire tenders,70 firemen, Ambulances, 16 dumpers still at the spot.

8:00 pm: The death toll has now increased to 22. A total of 34 people have been rescued so far and nearly 10 persons are still feared to be trapped in the debris.

6:50 pm: Due to fire in the collapse debris caused from the kitchen of the hotel on ground floor lots of smoke spread inside the debris. It slowed down the rescue work and created suffocation for the victims still trapped in the debris. The rescue operation is in full swing, a total of 10 fire appliances, two rescue vans and 200 MFB officers including trainees and two NDRF teams were at collapse site. About 10 persons still feared to trapped in the debris.

A dead body getting carried into ambulance at the spot. Over 20 killed and many others feared trapped in a building collapse at South Mumbai’s Bhendi Bazar on Thursday morning. Express photo by Nirmal Harindran, 31st August 2017, Mumbai.

6:20 pm: Absconding gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s younger brother heard a loud explosion like sound followed by a swirl of dust as six-story building in his neighbourhood collapsed. “I immediately rushed down as I felt our building vibrate,” said Iqbal Kaskar.

6:00 pm: The opposition blamed the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development (MHADA) and Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) for the building crash. They also demanded criminal cases against those responsible for the tragedy. There are 16,000 cessed buildings and thousands of lives are at risk, the responsibility of which should be borne by MHADA, SP corporator Rais Shaikh told reporters. “I appeal to the Chief Minister to conduct a structural audit of all these 16,000 cessed buildings and make funds available for their redevelopment. Life has become cheap in this city,” he said.

5:45 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences to families of those who lost their lives in Mumbai’s building collapse and said the news is saddening.

5:20 pm: CM Devendra Fadnavis announced an ex-Gratia of Rs five lakh for the kin of those who died in Bhendi Bazaar building collapse

5:00 pm: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis has reached the incident site. He has assured strict action in case of any negligence. The Maharashtra government will conduct an inquiry into the Bhendi Bazaar building collapse in which at least 19 people lost their lives, state minister announced.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis visit the building collapse site. Over 20 killed and many others feared trapped in a building collapse at South Mumbai’s Bhendi Bazar on Thursday morning. Express photo by Nirmal Harindran, 31st August 2017, Mumbai.

 

4:45 pm: The death toll has now increased to 16, the deceased include 13 males and three females. According to a senior police official from Mumbai. Civic officials feared that more people might be trapped under the debris.

3.20 pm: The Mumbai Police has now revised the death toll to 15 while those injured are now 12.

3.00 pm: A minor fire broke out in the debris but was immediately put off by the Mumbai Fire Brigade team at the rescue site.

2.20 pm: A total of 29 people have been rescued from under the debris, CFO Prabhat Rahangdale said. Fourteen of them have been injured along with four fire brigade personnel who suffered injuries during the rescue operations

2.10 pm: The Chief Fire Officer has said that rescue operation are in full swing and about 10 to 15 people are still suspected to be trapped. In all 200 fire brigade and NDRF personnel are part of the rescue operation

2.00 pm: Prakash Mehta, state housing minister, after visiting site, said: “Despite the notices being issued by MHADA, residents did not vacate the building due to lack of trust on the SBUT and the government authorities. Now, we feel that the residents of the dilapidated buildings should be vacated and moved to a transit camp by using force to prevent such incidents in future. I will also tell the chief minister about using force for vacating dilapidated buildings.”

1.50 pm: The death toll has now increased to 12 – 9 male, three female. Thirteen people are injured in the collapse, 11 of whom are in the hospital while two have been sent home after they were administered medical treatment.

1:20 pm: 23 people have been rescued from underneath the debris so far and sent to hospitals. Three fire brigade personnel were also injured during the operation.

1:15 pm: Srinath Rao is reporting from the ground that a man named Jaffer Rizvi is trapped under the debris and has been in touch with his family through WhatsApp since morning. 100 fire brigade and NDRF personnel are engaged in rescuing him. He has been told to stop using his phone to conserve battery. He is also being told to stay calm.

1 pm: 12229 buildings out of 14375 were built before 1940. Nine out of these are completely dilapidated.

12:50 pm: The total number of cessed buildings is 14,375. Nine out of these were notified by the MHADA as dangerous and unfit to live in.

12:45: BIG UPDATE – Death toll rises to 10 (7 men, 3 women). 17 people rescued so far.

12:40 pm: Statement from SBUT (Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust) below

“We are extremely saddened and concerned at this unfortunate incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families. All the necessary support from the trust and the disaster management teams including MCGM, Mumbai Police, BMC and MHADA is being mobilized towards ensuring the safety of all tenants in the affected area.

The residents of the 117-years-old Husaini building (CS NO. 4329) in Bhendi Bazaar collapsed at 8.30 am today. This ground+6 building housed a total of 13 tenants which included 12 residential and 1 commercial. Out of these, the trust had already shifted 7 families in 2013-14.

MHADA notices dated 28-03-2011 and 20-05-2011 declaring the building dilapidated were issued along with offer of transit accommodation to the remaining tenants and occupants. At present the area has been cordoned off to carry out the evacuation process smoothly. We very sincerely thank the locals and all the government authorities for their prompt and immediate action.”

12:35 pm: Notice to vacate building was served in 2011 

According to MHADA officials, the building was given a notice in 28/03/2011 asking to vacate the building as it was in dangerous condition. The MHADA issued a demolition notice for the building on 27/05/2016 to Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust, which is implementing Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment project. The project is one of the first cluster redevelopment projects to be taken up in the city.

12:30 pm:  Update on the rescue operation

30 to 35 persons might be trapped underneath. Search operations by fire brigade personnel from the east, west and south side in progress using search cameras, hydraulic tools and rescue gears from rescue van. 125 firemen are at the spot. NDRF is working from the south and west sides. There was a sweets manufacturing unit and food preparation shop on ground floor according to the public. One high pressure line is in operation.

Persons from adjacent buildings rescued safely and 2 to 3 adjacent buildings vacated as a safety mesure. A total of 15 persons rescued from debris and sent to the hospital. Three Fire Brigade personnel have been injured.

12:25 pm: The building that collapsed is a cessed building. Now, what are cessed buildings?

There are 19,642 cessed buildings stretching from BMC’s Ward A to G ie from Colaba to Mahim.

Cessed buildings are those, which pay a cess to the Mumbai Buildings Repairs and Reconstruction Board for upkeep and maintainance. There are 16,502 buildings which have been constructed prior to September 1940.

Buildings in Mumbai are allowed an FSI of 1.33. It means for a 1000 sq ft plot a builder can construct  1330 sq ft of space.

To tide over the problem of rehabilitating residents of the cessed buildings, the government brought in an amendment to DCR 33 (7) in 1999 to provide incentive FSI to builders for carrying out redevelopment work on cessed buildings.

12:20 pm: Our reporters on the ground are telling us that the building was 50 per cent empty after several residents vacated it. Shopkeepers around are saying that only six families remained in the building and had plans to move out.

12:10 pm: BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta has reached the site of the collapse.

See photos of the rescue operations at the site

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This is a developing story. 

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