11 killed in building collapse in Mumbai, toll may rise

Eleven persons, including three of a family, were killed and 26 injured after a four-storied residential building belonging to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in south Mumbai's Mazgaon area collapsed early morning on Friday.

"The death toll in the collapse has risen to 11," a civic official said, adding many more were believed to be trapped under the debris.

At least 35 people are feared trapped under the debris and rescue agencies have launched a full-scale operation to save them, a BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Disaster Control unit officer said.

Situated near the Dockyard Road in south Mumbai, the building houses civic employees' staff quarters and is around 33 years old, an official of Chief Minister's Office said.

Rescue work on at the building collapse site. Pics/Atul Kamble

Four of the deceased have been identified as Lakhoji Devji Chawda (60), Jamuna Chawda (30) Anil Chawda (19) and Santosh (44).

The injured have been admitted to the state-run JJ Hospital and Nair Hospital.

The building housed 21 families, most of whom were civic employees. It collapsed around 5.45 a.m, catching a majority of residents in their sleep, the official said.

A few years ago, it was declared extremely dilapidated, was examined by a team from BMC, and recommended for urgent repairs and shifting the families living there.

Rescue workers at the collapse site. Pic/Atul Kamble

"There were 28 rooms on the four floors, of which 22 were occupied by civic employees and their families, besides a godown on the ground floor where several labourers were living. The delay in shifting out the residents to transit camps and carrying out repairs has led to the avoidable tragedy," Suresh Jadhav, a former municipal corporator from the area, said.

The building is located on the Brahmadev Khot Marg near Babu Genu market in the Mazgaon area, which is close to the Dockyard Road railway station on the harbour railway line.

Anish Kadam (10), Diptesh Kadam (16), Habib Shaikh (22), Tauqeer Shaikh (22), Haroon Shaikh (24) and Ajay Chendvankar (40) were among those rescued. 

D S Patil, a fire brigade official, was injured during rescue operation.

Mumbai Mayor Suresh Prabhu, who supervised the relief operations with BMC and fire brigade officials, said priority is to rescue those trapped under the debris and efforts were continuing on a war-footing.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan summoned an emergency meeting of concerned departments and ordered top priority to rescue and relief operations besides proper treatment to the injured.

This is the second major building collapse in Mumbai this year. Aftab Mansion, a residential building in suburban Mahim West collapsed in June, killing ten people.

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