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Mumbai building collapse: Death toll mounts to 17; Shiv Sena leader booked for culpable homicide

A four-storied building located in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar area collapsed this morning, killing at least 17 people.
Edited by: India TV News Desk Mumbai July 26, 2017 9:09 IST
India TV News Desk

Seventeen people were killed and fourteen others injured when a four-storey residential building collapsed in suburban Ghatkopar on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the spot on Tuesday night.

News agency ANI reported that police has detained Shiv Sena leader Sunil Shitap who owned the building. Residents have blamed Sunil for the disaster. The news agency said that police has booked the Sena leader for culpable homicide.

The incident took place at around 10.40am at Damodar Park on Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg. The building housed a nursing home on the ground floor and people were residing on first floor and above. There was some renovation work being undertaken at the nursing home. Whether the construction activity caused the collapse could not be verified immediately. 

A resident of the ill-fated building, however, claimed that some commercial activity was being carried out on the ground floor of the building and that might be the reason of its collapse. 

“Eight persons died and many others were injured in the accident. Among the eight deceased were six females,” Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) Fire Brigade  Department chief PS Rahangdale said. 

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been pressed into service to rescue those trapped under the rubble. The structure that came down this morning housed around 15 families. Most of those trapped in the debris are believed to be elderly and women. 

The civic body's control room received a call at around 10.43 am about the accident, said a BMC official, adding fire engines, a rescue van and ambulances were rushed to the spot immediately. Eyewitnesses said they heard in the morning a loud sound, similar to that of lightning in the monsoon season. 

"I came out of my building and found lot of dust and heard cries and noise of people seeking help. I saw parts of the building collapsing," an eyewitness living in the neighbourhood said. 

According to a local resident, it was a 35-year-old building. The city and its suburbs had received heavy rains over the last several days, though there had been some respite from it since yesterday with showers becoming intermittent. The Mumbai police cordoned off the area while the traffic was blocked on the Lal Bhadur Shastri road to provide a 'green corridor' to rush the rescued to hospital. 

A resident of the collapsed building, whose mother and two other family members are feared trapped in the debris, feared that the chances of their survival were slim. Rajesh Diyora, a resident of the same building, said some commercial activity was being carried out on the ground floor of the building and that might be the reason for its collapse. He said he escaped unhurt in the collapse as he had left for his office before the building collapsed. 

The building was not listed in the dangerous category, as per locals.