Rescuers are still digging through the rubble of a decades-old four-storey building in south Mumbai’s crowded Dongri area that collapsed on Tuesday morning. Fourteen people have been killed and many more are feared trapped. Nine people – including two children – have been rescued.
Three teams of the National Disaster Response Force, joined by residents of the south Mumbai neighbourhood where several old buildings stand cheek by jowl, worked through the night to remove blocks of broken concrete and bricks using portable power tools.
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.
“We have given permission to redevelop that area… We will know after investigation if the redevelopment initiative was delayed. Right now we are focusing on rescuing trapped people,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told reporters on Tuesday.
He said Rs. 50 lakh will be given to each of the families of those who died, and Rs. 50,000 will be given to the injured and the government would take care of their medical expenses, news agency ANI reported today.