The toll in the building collapse incident at Fort area in Mumbai Friday rose to 10 after firemen and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) extricated four more bodies from the debris.
Nearly one-third portion of the six-storey cessed Bhanushali Building, near Lucky House, in Fort area had collapsed at 4.43 pm on Thursday.
Over 24 hours since, the Mumbai Fire brigade and NDRF continued to look for missing residents Friday using search cameras and heavy machinery. At least 35 dumpers were pressed in since Thursday to clear the debris, with fire brigade officials claiming that the search and rescue operation was tricky.
“While searching for the people trapped below the debris and lifting the rubbles, we have to keep in mind that the remaining portion of the structure is in precarious condition. A second collapse cannot be ruled out in this scenario,” said PS Rahangdle, Chief Fire Officer, MFB. Around 12 rooms were reduced to rubble in the collapse Thursday.
Seventeen-year-old Shailesh Bhalchandra Kandu, who was pulled out of the rubble Thursday night and was admitted to JJ hospital, was declared dead on Friday. Eight of the other nine deceased have been identified as Kusum Gupta (45), Jyotsna Gupta (50), Padmalal Gupta (50), Kiran Dhiraj Mishra (35), Maniben Nanji Fariya (62), Pradip Chaurasiya (35), Riku Chaurasiya (25), Kalpesh Nazi Faria (32). One of the deceased is yet to be identified.
Neha (45), who was rescued Thursday, meanwhile, sustained severe back injury and was slated to be critical, while another Bhalchandra Kandu (48) is undergoing treatment for minor injuries, officials said.
The 100-year-old building housed around 27 residential tenants and 37 commercial tenants, including grocery, stationery and medical shops, till last year. According to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) officials, the owner of the building was given a no-objection certificate to undertake repair of the structure. In addition, the BMC had also provided permission and the required Intimation of Disapproval (IOD) and Commencement Certificate (CC) to carry out the repair of the building on June 1, 2019, said MHADA.
Father of Rakesh Jain, who owns a shop in the Bhanushali Building, had visited the shop minutes before the collapse. While talking to the media, Jain said, “My father was lucky, as he was in the shop just minutes before the collapse. The plan to repair the building was in place but it got delayed due to Covid-19. The building is surrounded by heritage precinct.”
The housing board has arranged for transit accommodation at Borivali and Magathane for those displaced in the building collapse.
A decision to pull down the structure will be taken after completion of the search and rescue operation, officials said.
Meanwhile, 13 people were rescued from the portions of the building that had remained intact. Two persons were also pulled out from debris by the locals before arrival of the fire brigade. Their names and extent of injuries are not yet known to the BMC Control Room. At the time of going to the press, the authorities were still clearing debris from the site.
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