Thane: At least 13 were killed including 7 minors and 20 were injured after a building collapsed in the Dhaman Naka of Narpoli area in Bhiwandi on Monday morning. More people are believed to be fear trapped under the debris.
A part of ground plus three-storey Jilhani building in Bhiwandi' in Patel complex collapsed at around 3:40 am on Monday.
"Following the alert call, the rescue operation is being carried by the Regional disaster management cell (RDMC) and Thane's and National Disaster Response Force (TDRF and NDRF), the team of 15 TDRF official and 30 NDRF officials are at the site carrying rescue operation," said Santosh Kadam, in charge of RDMC and TDRF, Thane.
"Until now 32 people has been removed from the debris, out which 20 including a 4 year old baby have been rescued successfully; while 13 deaths including 7 minors has been reported so far due to the collapse," added Kadam.
According to the official, the building consisting of 40 flats was a 43-year-old structure and was occupied by around 150 residents. The building was served with the notice of the same by civic body.
Among the injured victims many were shifted to Kalwa and IGM hospital in Bhiwandi while few were shifted to hospitals in Mumbai for further medical treatment.
The dead belong to the age group of 2 to 75-year-old; including minors between the age group of 2 to 14-year-old.
Here's what the victims of the incident had to say:
Anwar Salmani, 54, who is one of the residents of the building managed to escape from the building with his four children and wife, however, his elder 25 year old son sustained with serious injuries due to collapse.
"I have stayed here since last 20 years, in the building with five children and wife. Yesterday, during wee hours my daughter alerted us that some unusual sound is coming building's structure. We immediately went running out of the building, and safely escaped from the building, but a part of building's structure fell on my son who had reached near the exit of the building while escaping. He has sustained serious head injuries. Among my other family members my wife has suffered minor injuries, who is undergoing treatment in Bhiwandi, while other members are stable," said Salmani, whose son in on ventilator at J J hospital in Mumbai.
Akhif Khan, 18, a local who close to Jilhani building and a relative of Shaikh family residing at the 1st floor of the Jilhani building, said, "We heard a sound as soon as the building collapsed. The locals nearby immediately rushed to save the people trapped under the debris. One of my relatives family consisting 6 members were too stuck under the debris. Though, all the members sustaining injuries were rescued, but one of their son, who is around 20 years old and a special child is still missing."
According to the civic official, the other buildings located close to Jilhani building has also been vacated as a safety precautions. The residents living in these buildings has been shifted to Madarsa, mosques and community halls located in the Patel complex area in Bhiwandi.
About rescue operation:
The rescue operation is being carried since early morning and is still underway and likely to be continued till next day as more people are feared to be trapped under the debris.
"The operation may continue till tomorrow, as more 30 to 35 people are suspected to be trapped under the debris. The operation carried using the mechanisms like cutters and hammers, however the narrow lanes aside the building is adding more obstacle to carry the operation smoothly. While, the heavy shower in evening hours added more difficulty to clear the debris using equipments," said Ashish Kumar, deputy commandant, NDRF.
"We are worried that the remaining structure of the building should not collapse, as it will add more challenges to carry the rescue operation. Hence, we are trying our level best to rescue the trapped people as early as possible," informed one of the NDRF officials at the spot.
Commissioner directs survey of dangerous structures:
Following the building collapse, Bhiwandi Municipal Commisioner directed the civic body officials to form a committee to inspect illegal and dangerous structure in the city.
"The building was listed under the dangerous structures in the city. Hence, the residents and owner staying in the building were already issued with the notice to vacate the building in February this year. However, despite of warning notice, the residents continued to stay. An FIR has been registered against the owner of the building, at the police station, following further investigation," said Pankaj Ashiya, commissioner, Bhiwandi Nizampur city Municipal Corporation.
"Besides, the committee headed by additional commissioner has been formed to carry the survey of such dangerous structure in the city to curb the similar incidents in future. The committee following the survey has been directed to submit survey report within a week, accordingly the further action will be announced," added Ashiya.
The Thane' Guardian minister, Eknath Shinde, visited the incident spot to take stock of the situation and of the loss of lives and injured victims. The minister informed that the probe will be carried in the collapse incident. He also announced the compensation of Rs 5 lakh to victims family.