Ten people were killed and 14 injured when a three-storey building collapsed in Mumbra on Friday. Only two months ago, 72 people were killed in a similar incident here.
‘Shakuntala,’ which was 35 years old, collapsed at 2.30 a.m. The three-storey structure opposite the Mumbra railway station had been declared ‘unsafe’ by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), but nine families continued to stay there.
Residents accused the civic body of not informing them about the TMC order. “We didn’t know that the building had been declared unsafe. The building suddenly started shaking and everything came down before we knew anything,” said Zakia Sheikh, who lost her husband in the tragedy. Her children were injured and admitted to a hospital. “Where will we go now? What will we do,” she asked.
Nadeem Akhtar, resident of a nearby building said, “Even if the corporation says the building is unsafe, what option do people have? Either stay in such buildings or move to transit camps. Once you move to a transit camp, people remain there for years. Government doesn’t do anything.”
According to locals, the police, despite getting information about the collapse, did not begin rescue work immediately. It was only after a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) reached the spot, rescue work began. Continuous rain disrupted the work. “Our team reached here within 30 minutes of the collapse. We will continue the work until we clear the site and ensure that there are no more bodies or injured inside,” said Sachchidanand Gawade, Deputy Commander, NDRF.
Local MLA from the Nationalist Congress Party and party’s newly appointed State executive president Jitendra Awhad said that over the years the city had grown without any planning.
“Mumbra is trapped between a mountain on the one side and a creek on the other. Most of these buildings were built 30 years ago on marshy land. I won’t be surprised if more such tragedies take place. I am tired of asking the government to bring out a cluster development project for Mumbra. It’s time the Chief Minister took some action,” he said.