Mumbai: As many as ten people were killed and eight others injured after a four-storeyed building in the city's Dongri area collapsed on Tuesday.
Three teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are engaged in rescue operations.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi visited the spot and took stock of the rescue operations, while Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered an investigation into the incident.
TV channels showed dramatic visuals of a child, wrapped in a cloth bundle, being carried out of the debris by rescue workers. There was no word about the child's condition. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has opened a shelter at Imamwada Municipal Secondary Girls' School after the building collapse, a civic official said. "A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is reaching the spot. We are assuming that 10 to 12 families are still under the debris," Mumbadevi MLA Amin Patel told reporters at the spot.
The building was owned by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and its officials reached the site to assess the situation. Another legislator Bhai Jagtap said residents had been complaining to MHADA to take prompt measures as the building was very old and in a dilapidated state for a long time. The 'Kesarbai' building, located in a bustling narrow lane in Tandel Street of Dongri area of south Mumbai, crashed around 11.40 am, a BMC disaster management cell official said.
Meanwhile, Vinod Ghosalkar, chief of the repair board of MHADA, said the building did not belong to the housing body as mentioned by a few locals and a legislator.
Some part of the building was left standing after the collapse. Fire brigade, Mumbai Police and civic officials rushed to the site but the constricted lanes made it difficult to access the area, reduced to a mass of rubble, twisted concrete and broken wires. Scores of locals joined in the effort, forming a human chain to help in removing the debris brick by brick and picking up slabs of concrete to locate those buried. Ambulances could not reach the site and had to be parked around 50 metres away. An eyewitness said the building collapse felt like a quake.