Mumbai: Two persons, including a 12-year-old girl lost their lives, and one was critically injured, after a portion of a three-storey residential building in Nagpada came crashing down on a chawl adjacent to the building on Thursday afternoon.
The building had been declared dangerous by authorities, and repair work had been pending for six years despite clearances being issued for it. Phase-wise repair works were initiated for the first time in six years on Thursday morning, soon after which the building crumbled. As many as 111 tenants reside in the building, none of whom were injured. Instead, those living in the adjacent slum area had to bear the brunt.
This was one of three incidents in the city on Thursday, in which portions of buildings collapsed. The other two incidents took place in Chembur and Deonar, in which one person sustained serious injuries, and another received minor injuries, respectively.
The incident in Nagpada took place in the congested Ayesha Compound in the Shuklaji Street area, at around 1 pm. The toilet portion of the three-storey 'Mishra Building' fell down on the adjacent slum houses below.
The Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) categorised it as a Level-2 collapse, and a team of MFB personnel were mobilised at the venue. Initially, four persons were feared trapped underneath the debris. After a three-hour long rescue operation, the MFB was able to remove two victims from the debris, at around 4:12 pm. Identified as Noor Kureshi (70) and Alia Riyasat Kureshi (12), they were rushed to JJ Hospital, where they were declared dead by the doctors.
At around 5:47 pm, another victim was rescued from the debris. The victim was identified as Saumita Bano (35) and was taken to JJ Hospital. Medical officers from JJ hospital said Bano had sustained minor injuries and was in a stable condition. The Mishra building belongs to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and was in a dilapidated state, awaiting repairs. MHADA had issued an NOC six years back for repairs. Local residents alleged the developer had been delaying the repair work for six years.
Congress MLA of Mumbadevi constituency, Amin Patel visited the site on Thursday afternoon."A special committee has recommended to the state government that in case a developer is not initiating repairing works even after three years of MHADA issuing NOC, then the repairing works should be undertaken by MHADA itself," Pate told The Free Press Journal. "The state government needs to take cognisance of the situation and will have to bring the recommendation into force immediately, as house collapse has become a regular occurrence in south Mumbai,” he added.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar also visited the spot along with Patel. She said MHADA should revoke the licence of developers who tend to delay redevelopment work. "The building belongs to MHADA and the building was labelled a 'dangerous building' by the civic body, and notices were also issued by BMC from time to time," Pednekar said.
Meanwhile, a 54-year-old lady identified as Tulsabai Waman Ambhore sustained severe chest and head injuries after a portion of a balcony of a residential building collapsed at Mahatma Phule Nagar, Chembur. The incident took place around 11:42 pm and the victim has been admitted to Rajawadi hospital in a critical condition. At around 2:42 pm on Thursday, a portion of a ground-plus-one structure collapsed in the Gautam Nagar area opposite Deonar Police Chowki. A lady sustained minor injuries and was sent to Shatabdi hospital.