The death toll in a building collapse in Mumbai’s congested Dongri locality rose to 13, a disaster management authority spokesman said today.
Search and rescue operations continued through last night and was still on as the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) officials keep looking for survivors and bodies under the rubble, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
“So far, 13 people, including six males, four females and three children have been declared dead, while nine were injured,” said Sachidanand Gawde, public relations officer of the NDRF battalion.
“It (search and rescue operations) will go on till the last piece of rubble is removed from the spot,” he said.
The official also said NDRF team members had been told that there were a few customers at an eatery located on the ground floor of the four-storey building and no one knew the exact numbers. “So, our job is still left to rescue those men,” he said.
At least 50 people were feared trapped under the debris of the century-old building, which collapsed yesterday following incessant rains in the last few days.
The building is located in Abdul Hamid Durga area which is full of dilapidated buildings on narrow lanes.
In a statement, Mumbai Fire Brigade Chief PS Rahangdale said two children, who were rescued from under the debris by the fire fighters, died on the way to hospital.
“Both the kids were sent to hospital where they were declared dead,” Rahangdale said, adding one fireman was also injured in the line of duty.
An official from the disaster management cell Mumbai civic body said three more bodies were recovered early today.
“The death toll likely to up further,” he said.
“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.