Blame game on as Mumbai building crash toll rises to 13

Rescue workers removing debris of the building in Dongri 24 hours after it collapsed.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

The toll in Tuesday’s building collapse in Dongri in south Mumbai went up to 13 with the recovery of three more bodies, including those of two children, early on Wednesday.

Late in the evening, the NDRF called off search and rescue operations while the fire brigade remains on standby.

“The search and rescue operation has been called off after removal of the debris and search of the entire area,” Sachidanand Gawde, PRO of the NDRF battalion engaged in the exercise, said.

“Debris is completely cleared by now but some locals have reported one person missing. So the fire brigade is on standby,” Additional Municipal Commissioner Ashwini Joshi said.

Under treatment

Of the 22 injured persons admitted to the JJ Hospital, two have been discharged, six are still under treatment and one remains critical.

Search operations continued through the night to rescue a mother and two children trapped under a concrete slab. Around 5.30 a.m., fire brigade personnel were able to remove the slab. However, the minors did not survive the accident.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a compensation of ₹5 lakh to kin of the deceased, ₹50,000 to the injured and said all their medical expenses would be borne by the government.

While the Brihan Mumbai Corporation (BMC) continues to blame the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) for the mishap, the latter has pointed fingers at the underworld-linked illegal construction in the area.

Following a high-level meeting with senior BMC and MHADA officials, the Chief Minister said a law would soon be enacted to undertake redevelopment of all dangerous and dilapidated cessed and non-cessed buildings within the city limits by applying a cluster policy.

Survey ordered

Mr. Fadnavis also directed that a survey of illegally built buildings in Mumbai he conducted and cases be filed against builders involved in these activities.

“This was a long-drawn battle we had been fighting for years. Finally, the CM has announced that an ordinance will be issued in two weeks. Other modalities such as FSI will be worked out after that but the move will benefit a lot of people,” Congress MLA Amin Patel said after the meeting.

Meanwhile, chairman of Mumbai Board of MHADA Madhu Chavan stated that there was rampant illegal construction aided by the underworld in the area.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 9:25:45 PM |

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