Death toll rises to 34 in Mumbai building collapse

MUMBAI: The number of dead in the Mumbai building collapse rose to 34 today as 10 more bodies were pulled out from the debris since last night, Mumbai police said.

The 117-year-old building located in the congested Bhendi Bazaar area in south Mumbai came crashing down yesterday morning, two days after heavy monsoon rains brought most of the city to its knees.

The dead include 24 men, nine women and a 20-day-old child, police said.

Around 15 people injured in the collapse are undergoing treatment at the state-run J J Hospital, a senior police official said.

The search operation by personnel of fire brigade, NDRF and the Mumbai civic body was on a war footing as they pulled out 10 bodies from under the rubble since last night.

It also housed a play school but children had not arrived yet when the tragedy occurred.

According to fire brigade officials, some nine families lived in the five-storey building.

The officials said that efforts were underway to rescue more people who might still be trapped in the debris.

The tragedy struck barely two days after torrential rain brought the city to its knees, crippling road, rail and air services, inundating homes and leaving at least 10 people dead. Many suspect the downpour caused further damage to the dilapidated structure, causing its crash.

Some residents claimed that about 40 people belonging to nine families lived in crammed rooms in the structure, which was declared “unsafe” by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis yesterday visited the spot and announced a solatium of Rs 5 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased.

He also said that the entire medical expenses of those injured will be borne by the state government.

This was the second major building collapse in the city in just over a month, after the crash of a residential complex in suburban Ghatkopar on July 25, which left 17 people dead.

(With inputs from PTI)

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