The Nehru Nagar police on Tuesday night arrested a labour contractor in connection with the building collapse in Kurla, charging the accused with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
An entire wing of the Naik Nagar building in Kurla (east) had come crashing down just a little before midnight on Tuesday, trapping scores of residents underneath. The incident was escalated as a Level III emergency and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had been called in for a search and rescue operation. As of 10.30 p.m. on Tuesday, when the NDRF officially declared the operation to be concluded, the death toll in the incident stood at 19.
According to police officials, the accused in the case has been identified as Dilip Vishwas, a contractor by profession who would provide labourers on a daily wage basis and also take care of their needs like food and accommodation.
"Vishwas provided accommodation to the labourers in the building despite knowing the condition of the building. We have charged him with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and will be producing him in court on Wednesday," said senior police inspector Chandrashekhar Bhabal, Nehru Nagar police station.
Bhabal added that reports about the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation issuing a notice to the building and an auditor conducting an audit of the building had also been taken into account, and would be investigated.
"Appropriate action will be taken against anyone else who is found to be responsible after we verify the information that is coming in," Bhabal said.