7 killed, 4 hurt in building collapse; more casualties feared

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building-collapse12Seven people were killed and four injured after a seven-storey building collapsed in Santacruz on Friday, officials said fearing more casualties.

The Shankarlok building located in Yashwant Nagar near Grand Hyatt Hotel collapsed this afternoon and the dilapidated structure fell on the adjacent chawl, trapping many under the debris, a senior BMC official said.

He, however, did not specify the number of people.

The collapsed building was served demolition notice three times in 2007, 2008 and 2010, he said. “Since it was a dilapidated building, notice was served thrice. However, the matter went to court and the demolition was stayed,” the official said.

While it was officially uninhabited, some families were living there illegally, said rescue officials.
According to fire brigade officials, a large portion of the dilapidated building near the Grand Hyatt hotel fell on an adjoining slum area, trapping some of its residents.

Dozens of rescuers scoured the site in search of anyone trapped under the wreckage of the building, located in a densely populated area of the city and surrounded by other structures which were hit with debris.

He said there were three families living in the building. “All BMC rules were followed. However, the residents went to the court,” he said.

The injured have been admitted to a nearby civic hospital, an official at the BMC disaster management cell said.

Rescue operations by fire brigade personnel and the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) was on till late in the evening and there could be more casualties, the official said.

“This tragedy could have been avoided. We need laws that give more powers to the municipal corporation for acting in time against such structures,” said Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu.

Two of the deceased were identified as Chandanben Kantibhai Patel (50) and Sudha Sridharan (32).