Rescue operation called off at building crash site in Mumbai

A sniffer dog helps conduct search operation at the site of the collapsed four-storey Kesarbai building at Dongri in Mumbai on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

More than 24 hours after the collapse of a residential building in Dongri area here, the search and rescue operation for survivors was called off on Wednesday, officials said.

No more survivors were found at the site of the building crash, located in a congested lane in south Mumbai, they said.

The four-storey illegal building had caved in at around 11.40 a.m. on Tuesday, killing 14 people.

Multiple agencies, including the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), had launched a search and rescue operation to locate survivors under the debris. “The search and rescue operation has been called off after removal of the debris and a search of the entire area,” Sachidanand Gawde, PRO of the NDRF battalion engaged in the exercise, said.

NDRF personnel were at the site for over 28 hours.

He said a total of 23 people were taken out from the crash site, of which 14 died and nine were injured.

The high population density in the area and the large crowd of onlookers who gathered at the site, posed a challenge in carrying out the rescue operation, another NDRF official said.

Anupam Srivastava, Commandant, NDRF, said the overcrowding hampered the use of the equipment needed to locate persons trapped under the rubble. “These instruments can sense heartbeat, vibration and locate survivors. But, the machines need a peaceful atmosphere. Due to overcrowding, we faced a lot of difficulties while operating these instruments and had to carry out our operation using sniffer dogs,” he said.

The structure that collapsed was an illegal extension of the Kesarbai building located on Tandel Street in Dongri, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) said.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 5:11:05 PM |

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