Ghatkopar
India

A Building Collapsed In Ghatkopar Mumbai – 17 Killed

Sena man held for ‘illegal’ repairs after Ghatkopar Mumbai  building crash kills 17 people  including two babies.


 This incident happened in Mumbai, 17 persons, including two babies, were crushed to death when their 35-year -old ground-plus-four-storey building in Ghatkopar Mumbai collapsed around 10.45am on Tuesday. A dozen more were injured.

Amid the shock and sorrow, survivors pointed fingers at the extensive repairs being carried out in a maternity home on the ground floor owned by Sunil Shitap, a local strongman linked to the Shiv Sena. Some said he had removed critical load-bearing pillars. Later in the evening, Shitap was detained after an FIR was filed against him by the residents.

Visiting the site late on Tuesday, CM Devendra Fadnavis said he had ordered an inquiry and asked the BMC commissioner to submit a report in 15 days. “An offence has been registered and the police are investigating. We will not spare anyone found guilty,” Fadnavis added. The BMC too has ordered a probe.

In 2009, the civic body had allowed change of use for the ground floor to be used as a nursing home, said assistant municipal commissioner Bhagyashree Kapse. A local resident who did not want to be named said Shitap was politically well connected and so people were afraid of confronting him.

At 10.46am, a call went to the fire brigade that Siddhi Sai Cooperative Society near Shreyas Cinema on LBS Marg had crashed. Around 90 fire personnel, 14 fire engines and two rescue vans were rushed to the site. The building, which had three flats on every floor, had telescoped down and turned into a pile of rubble.

They managed to pull out at least three survivors from the debris. Almost 12 hours later, they were digging to free another person, believed to have survived as he was cocooned in a gap under a bedstead.

Two families—the Khanchandanis on the fourth floor and the Dongres—lost three members each. Another Khanchandani is in hospital. The family has only one survivor—a woman who had gone to work. Many were saved as they too had stepped out, for work or to go to school.

The Ajmeras on the third floor proved very unlucky. They had bought a flat and were preparing to move, but the collapse claimed one of them. A carpenter who had arrived to receive payment from them too perished.

Lalchand Ramchandani, 67, who lived on the fourth floor, was among those who had a close shave as he had left a few minutes before the crash for his workshop in Vikhroli (West). The fact that the nursing home on the ground floor was not in operation may have also saved several lives.
Civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta instructed his officials to submit the inquiry report within 15 days. Most of the survivors blamed the extensive repairs and rearrangement in the ground floor for the collapse. “The owner of the ground floor property, which was earlier a nursing home, was carrying out extensive repairs. We had heard he had tampered with the pillars of the building to make his property more spacious,” said Pritesh Shah, who was one of those pulled out from the rubble.
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