Pune: Three teams of Pune-based 5th Battalion of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which were stationed in Mumbai due to the torrential rains on Tuesday, along with local fire brigade from Mumbai, immediately commenced rescue operations in a building collapse incident in Byculla in the metropolis on Thursday.
22 people were killed and 19 injured when the multi-storeyed building collapsed. The over 100-year-old five-storey structure caved in on Pakmodia Street in Bhendi Bazaar area early on Thursday morning trapping over 30 residents living in the building.
The building, which was declared unsafe by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), housed six godowns on the ground floor and several houses.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Commandant of the 5th Battalion of NDRF, Anupam Srivastava said, “It was a five-storey building, which housed 11 families. We are unclear about the total number of people, who were present in the building when the building collapsed. The rescue operation may last for another day or two until we have cleared the entire debris.”
Deputy Commandant, Mahesh Nalawade, on Thursday evening told Sakal Times, “We have been able to rescue 14 people, including 11 men and two women during the operation. All the injured have been rushed to the hospital. We have also recovered 18 bodies during the rescue operation.”
Nalawade said there is a possibility of other people being trapped in the debris. “The operation will continue through the night as well as there may be more people trapped as we do not have a count of how many persons were present in the building. We feel that more people may be trapped in the debris,” he added.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the spot and announced a solatium of
Rs 5 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased. He said the entire medical expenses of those injured will be borne by the State government.
“Our priority is to pull out at the earliest those trapped under the rubble of the dilapidated building,” said Industries Minister Subhash Desai, who is also the guardian minister for Mumbai.
“Once the rescue work gets over, the government will conduct a probe to ascertain the factors behind the building collapse. Strict action will be taken against those found guilty,” he told media persons.
(With agency inputs)