Maharashtra: Death toll in slabs collapse incident rises to seven
The death toll in the slabs collapse incident that occurred at a building in Ulhasnagar of Maharashtra's Thane district rose to seven with the recovery of one more body, an official said on Saturday. Thane district Guardian Minister Eknath Shinde said, "Maharashtra government would provide Rs. five lakh financial assistance to the kin of each deceased, who include three women and one teenage boy."
Slabs of five flats in the building collapsed on Friday
The slabs of five flats in Sai Shakti building, a ground-plus-five-storey structure located at Nehru Chowk, collapsed on Friday night. As per the information given by authorities late last night, six persons died in the incident and four-five others were feared trapped under the debris.
The deceased belong to two families
"With the recovery of one more body from the debris, the fatality count in the incident has now gone up to seven," authorities said. "Three women, as many numbers of men and one boy, died in the mishap," Santosh Kadam, Chief of Regional Disaster Management Cell of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) said. "The deceased belonged to two families residing in the building," he said.
Disaster management and response forces rushed to the scene
"There were 29 flats in this 26-year-old building," Kadam said. "Around 9 pm, the drawing-room slabs of five flats - right from the top floor up to the bottom one - caved in. On being alerted, the personnel of the RDMC and the Thane Disaster Response Force (TDRF) rushed to the scene and launched a search and rescue operation," he said.
List of people who lost their lives in the incident
"The operation was called off at 12:46 am on Saturday following the recovery of the seventh body," the official said. "The deceased were identified as Punit Bajomal Panjwani (17), Dinesh Bajomal Panjwani (40), Deepak Bajomal Panjwani (42), Mohini Bajomal Panjwani (65), Krishna Induchand Bajaj (24), Amruta Induchand Bajaj (54) and Lovely Bajaj (20)," he added.
Second such incident in the area in recent past: Shinde
Shinde rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. Talking to reporters, the minister said that he has informed Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray about the incident. "This is the second such incident in the area in the recent past," he added.
Developers are reconstructing unauthorized buildings: Shinde
"In 1994-95, the local civic body had demolished some of the unauthorized buildings by pulling down their slabs, pillars, and rods," Shinde said. "However, it has been observed that some developers welded the iron rods, recast the slabs, and reconstructed the buildings. Such structures are now crashing down and claiming innocent lives," he further added.
Strict action to be initiated against such builders
He also directed Ulhasnagar Municipal Commissioner Raja Dayanidi to shift the occupants of such precarious buildings to safer places on a war footing and also initiate strict action against such builders.