As heavy rains continued to batter Mumbai for the third day in a row, six people died and at least 17 were injured in two separate incidents of building collapses in the city on Thursday. While two people died when a chawl in Malad collapsed, four were declared dead in a building that collapsed in the Fort area in South Mumbai. Several others are feared trapped under the debris in the Fort incident, Mumbai Fire Brigade official said, even as rescue operations were underway late into the night.
According to the Mumbai Fire Brigade, four people, including three women, were killed after a corner portion of Bhanushali Building, a six-storey building on Mint Road in the Fort area, came crumbling down like a pack of cards on Thursday evening.
Of the four victims, three deceased were identified as Jokhna Gupta (70), Kusum Gupta (45), Padumlal Gupta (60), while the body of a woman was yet to be identified.
Fire Brigade officials said two to three people were feared trapped under the debris. Several people were also stranded in the part of the building that remained intact, as staircases were blocked. As much as 30 to 40 per cent part of the ground-plus-five storey Bhanushali Building gave way around 4.45 pm.
According to a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) had asked residents to vacate the building and repair work was underway. However, some people continued to stay in the building, the official added. Those injured in the incident were taken to the state-run JJ Hospital.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, housing minister Jitendra Awhad, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, MP Arvind Sawant and other public representatives visited the building collapse site in Fort. Eight fire engines, two rescue vans and ambulances were pressed into service and search and rescue operations were on.
"It was a very risky operation because all the trapped persons were either below the debris or precariously stuck in such a manner that there was a risk of the remaining portion of the building giving way in a second collapse. We are rushing to rescue those trapped," said Prabhat Rhangdale, chief fire officer of Mumbai Fire Brigade.
Meanwhile, in the house collapse incident in a chawl at Malvani in Malad, two persons were killed and several others were trapped under the debris. A total of 13 persons were rescued and sent to Hayat Hospital in Malad East after a portion of a three-storey chawl collapsed in the Gate Number 5 area around 2.30 pm, a fire brigade official said.
Later in the evening, nine to ten houses were damaged due to a landslide that took place at Sakinaka's Kajupada area. The incident was reported at around 7:30 pm. While a team of Mumbai Fire Brigade, the police and the BMC disaster management unit was rushed to the spot, no casualty was reported.
In yet another incident, a part of the ceiling plaster at Iqbal Manzil, a ground-plus-one structure at White House and Bohari Colony in Marol, Andheri (East), collapsed at around 8:30 pm. The Mumbai Fire Brigade, the local police, the BMC disaster management personnel, and an ambulance were deployed to carry out the rescue operation.
As per MFB officials, two of those rescued with injuries were rushed to a nearby hospital by the locals, while the rescue operation to remove two senior citizens stuck on the first floor was underway till late evening.
Meanwhile, In Thane (East), a portion of a three-storey residential building, which was classified as ‘very dangerous’, collapsed in the morning. No casualty was reported. The balcony of an apartment on the third floor of Gayatri’ building located in Kopri collapsed at around 8.30 am. The 35-year-old building was vacated last year and sealed, a civic official said.