MUMBAI: At least two persons were killed when an old five-storey building located on Mint Road in South Mumbai collapsed on Thursday. Four other persons were rescued from the debris amid fears that 20 more could be trapped under the rubble.
The bodies of the two deceased were extricated by the fire brigade and disaster management team members who were pressed into rescue operations. The building was in a dilapidated condition and in fact was vacated by most residents a few months ago to facilitate repair work. Despite that, a few families chose to stay back which proved to be a disastrous decision following its collapse on Thursday.
Copious rains lashing Mumbai also played their part in the mishap as the old building was drenched and soaked in the unending downpour. While one of the rescued persons claimed that one of their colleagues remained trapped under the debirs, officials claimed that most of the residents abandoned the building as soon as it tilted to a side before coming crashing down in a heap of rubble.
However, some locals said that most of the shops and offices in the building were open when the mishap happened.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray accompanied by BMC commissioner IS Chahal visited the building collapse site and personally took stock of the situation besides the rescue operations.
Heavy machinery is being used to remove the debris while following safety measures. Fire brigade personnel and disaster management team members have been working hard to carefully remove the rubble to trace missing people. There is no clarity at this moment as to how many could be still trapped under the rubble.
As the arduous rescue mission is on, suspicions are rife that the death toll could rise further.