Seven persons died and eight others were injured while over 40 people are feared trapped as a century-old four-storey building collapsed in Mumbai’s Dongri locality today, officials said.
So far seven people, including a child, have been rescued alive from under the debris by three teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as they keep looking for survivors, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
The building is located in Abdul Hamid Durga area. The area is full of dilapidated buildings on narrow lanes, and was also flooded due to heavy rains in the past weeks.
A total 10 ambulances and fire-fighting trucks were parked some distance away from the building as the firefighters and NDRF personnel struggled to take their machines to sift through the rubbles because of the narrow approach to the building site.
“The lanes are narrow, so we cannot take any machinery inside. We are manually doing all work, clearing debris, cutting iron girders,” a senior officer of the Mumbai Fire Brigade said.
Crowds thronged the narrow lane - where it would be extremely difficult for heavy machines to reach - and formed a human chain passing small debris like wooden blocks and bricks with their bare hands towards the outer area of the neighbourhood.
“The building was 100 years old. We have given permission to redevelop that area... We will know after investigation if the redevelopment initiative was delayed,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told reporters.
“The building was not in the list of dangerous buildings. A developer was appointed for redevelopment. We will probe if there was any lapse on part of the developer,” he said.
Authorities are focusing on rescuing those trapped under the debris and an investigation will be launched to find the cause behind the collapse, Devendra Fadnavis added.