Mumbai, July 17: At least 14 people died and eight were injured after a 100-year-old residential building came crumbling down in Dongri area of the city on Tuesday. The four-storeyed illegal rear portion of 'Kesarbai' building on Tandel street in Dongri caved on Tuesday morning at around 11.30 am, an official said and informed that the reason behind the incident is under investigation.
The BMC disaster management cell confirmed that at least 14 people died in the building collapse. Around nine people including two children were rescued.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has opened a shelter at Imamwada Municipal Secondary Girls' School for the homeless residents of the building, a BMC officer said.
Some of the deceased were identified as Sabiya Nisar Shaik (25), Abdul Sattar Kalu Shaik (55), Muzamil Mansoor Salmani (15), Saira Rehan Shaikh (25), Javed Ismail (34), Arhan Shehjad (40) and Kashyap Ameerajan (13).
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered a probe into the building collapse and assured strict action against the guilty. Opposition leaders like Vijay Wadettiwar, Prithviraj Chavan, Ashok Chavan (Congress), Dhananjay Munde, Majeed Memon, Nawab Malik (Nationalist Congress Party) and Abu Asim Azmi (Samajwadi Party) lashed out at the BJP-led government for lapses, leading to the tragedy.
They unitedly demanded a detailed investigation into the causes leading to the mishap, identify the culprits and book them under charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Late in the evening, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) Chief Spokesperson Vaishali Gadpale, while clearing the air on the building's ownership status, said in a statement that the main dilapidated structure Kesarbai Building was completely evacuated by the MHADA last year.
Three teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), joined by residents of Dongri, worked through the night to remove blocks of broken concrete and bricks.
Rescuers are still digging through the rubble to find out those who trapped inside. Heavy machines could not reach the collapsed building on Tuesday as the lanes - with overhead wires dangling - were too narrow for them to navigate. The area was also flooded in heavy rain in the past weeks.
Residents formed a human chain to pass down with their bare hands small debris like wooden blocks and bricks towards the outer area of the neighbourhood. Earlier in the day, MBRRB chairman Vinod Ghosalkar had informed that the dilapidated structure, believed to be over 80-year-old, had been handed over for redevelopment to BSB Developers, which has not yet started the work.UNI