4 dead, 10 hurt as hoarding collapses in city

Sushant Ranjan
Saturday, 6 October 2018

AID FOR VICTIMS
MP Anil Shirole announced aid of Rs 5 lakh for family of each deceased, Rs 1 lakh to those suffering major injuries and Rs 50,000 for victims with minor injuries.

PUNE: Four persons were killed while ten others were injured after a massive hoarding fell on around 14 people who were waiting at the traffic signal near Juna Bazaar on Friday at around 2 pm. According to the Bund Garden police, the hoarding, which was above 20 feet, fell when people were waiting at the signal. 

A team of police officials, ambulance drivers and fire brigade officials were rushed to the spot after the accident. The massive hoarding had collapsed on two-wheeler riders, autorickshaws and a car. People were stuck under the hoarding and the local residents along with police officials and officials of the fire brigade rescued the victims. 

The deceased were identified as Shyamrao Dhotre (48), Bhimrao Kasar (70), Shivaji Pardeshi (40) and Javed Khan (49). The injured were identified as Umesh More (36), Kiran Thosar (45), Yashwant Khobre (45), Mahesh Vishweshwar (50), Rukmini Pardeshi (55), Devanshu Pardeshi (4), Samrudhi Pardeshi (16), Ramchandra Bhognali (42), Kailash Gaikwad (26) and Shubham Pangul (20). 

The police said that Shyamrao and Bhimrao died on the spot after the hoarding collapsed, while the other two, Shivaji and Javed died while undergoing treatment at Sassoon General Hospital. Till Friday evening, the injured persons were undergoing treatment in other wards of Sassoon General Hospital. 

The relatives of the injured and deceased persons reached the hospital after the incident. Around 30 police officials and 20 traffic police personnel were deployed at the incident spot to regulate the traffic as the incident led to traffic chaos in the area. The Bund Garden police were yet to lodge a case till Friday evening. 

PMC’S TAKE
While speaking to Sakal Times, Vijay Dahibhate, head of Sky Sign Department of PMC said, “We will be sending notices to the railway administration to remove hoardings on their premises as they are all illegal and oversized. Earlier, the railway administration had denied permission to the PMC to take action on illegal hoardings saying that it is their jurisdiction and it is their authority to take action against illegal hoardings.” He said, “After this incident, we removed hoardings adjacent to the one which collapsed on Friday.” 

RAILWAY’S TAKE
Following the incident, the Railways has initiated an inquiry into the issue. Divisional Railway Manager Milind Deouskar said that an inquiry has been launched to find out the reasons for the accident. “We will investigate this thoroughly. Those responsible for the accident will not be spared,” said Deouskar. 

As per Deouskar, the hoardings are located on the railway land in the Sangam Park campus near Juna Bazaar and are hired out by railways to private advertising contractors for commercial use by issuing tenders. 

There were a total of 10 hoardings on the front side in two groups, four situated on the RTO side opposite the fuel station and six more towards the Juna Bazaar side. 

“We had directed all the contractors to strengthen the hoarding structures. Of the two contractors, one had strengthened the structures on the RTO side. 

The other contractor did not follow the instructions. In fact, we had stopped him from using them for commercial purpose and hence no advertisement was being put on them. Later on, we also asked the contractor to remove the hoardings so as to avoid any untoward incident. He did not pay any heed. We will investigate the series of events,” said Deouskar. 

The PRO said he won’t be able to share details such as the name of the contractor or size and age of the hoardings as concerned officials were busy in providing relief to victims of the incident.

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