AMN / MUMBAI
The death toll in the five-storey building collapse in Bhindi Bazar of south Mumbai has gone up to 29. 60 people have been rescued from the debris.
Fire brigade officials said some nine families lived in the dilapidated Husaini Building. It also housed a play school but there were no children there at the time the tragedy occurred. The building crumbled at around 8:30 a.m. and is said to be over 100 years old. Orders had been issued for its evacuation in 2011.
Several people were pulled out alive but injured while a large number of people still remain missing. Days of heavy rain and water logging are suspected to have played a part in the tragedy but a probe has been ordered the pin point the cause and fix responsibility.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the site of the building collapse where he announced the probe and 5 lakh rupees compensation for the next of kin of the dead.
10 fire tenders, 2 JCBs, cranes and other equipment was deployed to pull out those stuck in the rubble. NDRF teams also pitched in lend a hand to the rescue efforts of local authorities. The injured were rushed to the nearby JJ Hospital. Some are said to be in a serious condition.
Following the collapse, it has emerged that orders had been issued in 2011 for its evacuation. The building had been shortlisted under the reconstruction scheme and residents were being shifted out gradually during 2013-14. 7 families had been moved. Even last week, a family shifted out. But the fourth as well as the ground floors were still occupied. It’s said that when the building came down most people were on the ground floor.
The ill-fated building even had a play school being run in it which 50 toddlers and little children attended. It was almost time for the kids to reach the play school when the building came crashing down preventing the tragedy from becoming even bigger.
Just two days ago, due to the torrential rains in Mumbai two homes collapsed in the Vikroli suburban area where 3 people including 2 children died. Thursday’s incident is the second such building collapse tragedy within a month’s time in Mumbai on the 25th of July a building had come down in Ghatkopar where 17 people lost their lives.
Over 600 buildings have been declared hazardous by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Notices to vacate them have been issued. Question is why are people not heeding these notices even in cases where alternative arrangements have been made for their stay?