Mumbai Hoarding Collapse: NDRF Team Face Challenges As Hour Long Search Continues For Trapped Victims

Mumbai Hoarding Collapse: NDRF Team Face Challenges As Hour Long Search Continues For Trapped Victims

The officials are carrying out the rescue operations at the petrol pump cautiously to avoid any other fire on the spot.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Thursday, May 16, 2024, 12:04 AM IST
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The officials are carrying out the rescue operations cautiously to avoid any other fire on the spot | ANI

Mumbai: More than 50 hours passed after the incident of a huge hoarding collapsed on a petrol pump in Ghatkopar (East). The search and rescue operation continued on Wednesday. Though the death toll remains the same, the number of casualties going up in the tragedy cannot be ruled out as the chances of finding survivors are slim, said the team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). The team spotted two more bodies trapped in a car under the hoarding last night, but were yet to be pulled out. The petrol pump has stored fuel in the tank. Besides, there could be spillage of fuel from tanks of damaged vehicles. So, they are facing issues while using gas cutters and other heat generating machinery during rescue operations, as there is a possibility of fire, said an official. 

The illegal hoarding that stood on the land of the Government Railway Police (GRP) crashed on a petrol pump in Chheda Nagar area on Monday evening. The rescue teams of NDRF and Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) rescued 89 persons from under the collapsed hoarding, out of which 14 were declared dead, while the other 75 were injured. On Wednesday morning, a small fire broke out at the incident site during the operation. The fire tenders that were deployed on the spot immediately doused the fire. The officials are carrying out the rescue operations cautiously to avoid any other fire on the spot. "Heavy machinery has been deployed for lifting the steel structure and girder. We cannot use cutting and drilling machinery since the hoarding has collapsed on the petrol pump. Fuel has also leaked from some of the damaged vehicles that are stuck under the huge hoarding," said an NDRF official. 

The team of NDRF spotted two bodies stuck under the third girder of the collapsed hoarding. But they faced difficulties in reaching the spot. "There are more than five girders at the site. Two girders were removed after cutting till Wednesday evening. We can only know if any more people are trapped after we remove all the girders," said the official. As per a BMC official, "the petrol pump has a stock of 40 thousand litres of petrol, 30 thousand Kg gas and 30 thousand litres of diesel. So the help of specalised teams is taken while using cutters to prevent any fire incident on the spot." Around 12 fire tenders, 25 ambulances, 25 health officials, and 75 workers are deployed on the site. Also, 50 workers of NDRF and 10 Aapda Mitra are engaged in the rescue operation. Meanwhile, 34 people have been discharged after getting treatment in the civic hospitals till now. While 32 people are being treated in Rajawadi hospital at Ghatkopar, seven in KEM hospital in Parel and one in Prakruti hospital at Kalwa. Meanwhile, the BMC has also started removing the other three illegal hoardings at the spot. "All the three hoardings will be removed by May 16," assured the civic official. 

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