9 dead, over 70 injured as huge billboard, metal tower collapse in Mumbai amid gusty wind and rain : The Tribune India

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9 dead, over 70 injured as huge billboard, metal tower collapse in Mumbai amid gusty wind and rain

FIR has also been registered against owner of an advertising agency and others in the hoarding collapse incident

9 dead, over 70 injured as huge billboard, metal tower collapse in Mumbai amid gusty wind and rain

A damaged petrol pump after a huge iron hoarding collapsed on it due to strong winds and heavy rain, at Ghatkopar in Mumbai, Monday, May 13, 2024. PTI



PTI

Mumbai, May 13

At least nine persons were killed and over 70 others injured on Monday in rain-related incidents in Mumbai wherein a 100-foot tall billboard fell on a petrol pump in Ghatkopar area while an under-construction metal tower collapsed on a road amid gusty winds in Wadala, officials said.

The billboard, which was illegal according to civic officials, uprooted and fell on a petrol pump at the Cheddanagar Junction in Ghatkopar, killing eight people and injuring 70 others.

“78 people have been pulled out so far from under the hoarding, of which eight are declared dead, while 70 others were injured. They were rushed to various hospitals,” a senior police officer said, adding that the search and rescue operation is underway at the spot.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Police registered a case against the owner of Ego Media and others in the hoarding collapse incident.

The owner, Bhavesh Bhinde, and others were booked under sections 304 (Culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 337 (causing hurt to another person by acting rashly or negligently) of the Indian Penal Code.

The case has been registered at Pantnagar police station and the investigation is underway, said officials.

In Bandra, a branch of a tree fell on a shop, trapping two persons. “Of them, a 38-year-old died while another person was seriously injured,” a civic official said.

In Wadala, an under-construction metal parking tower collapsed on a road amid gusty winds, injuring three persons and damaging vehicles.

Of the total injured persons, 56 were admitted to Rajawadi Hospital and others at three separate hospitals.

The unseasonal rain and dust storms led to the suspension of flight operations at Mumbai airport for an hour in the evening due to low visibility, services of local trains were delayed while traffic snarls were seen in several areas.

As many as 15 flights were diverted to different airports and the runways operation resumed at 5.03 pm, the airport operator said.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde visited the spot of the hoarding collapse incident in Ghatkopar late in the evening and ordered a structural audit of all hoardings in Mumbai city.

“The hoardings, if found illegal and dangerous, would be removed immediately,” he said.

“It is a very unfortunate incident. The government will probe it, and the people responsible will face action. I have also asked the BMC commissioner to conduct a structural audit of all the hoardings in the city. Those found illegal and dangerous will be removed,” Shinde told reporters.

He announced aid of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each person killed in the hoarding collapse.

A Mumbai civic body official said 4 persons were declared as brought dead at Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar and 61 others are undergoing treatment. Three others are being treated at the civic-run HBT hospital, four at Vikhroli's Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Hospital and one at Kalwa's Prakruti Hospital.

A senior civic official said an NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) team reached the spot where the hoarding collapsed and a search and rescue operation is underway.

“Machinery including cranes for lifting the hoarding and gas cutters arrived at the spot,” the official said.

Rescue work underway after a huge billboard collapsed on a petrol pump, at Ghatkopar. PTI

Speaking to media persons after visiting the disaster control room at the civic headquarters, Mumbai Municipal Corporation commissioner Bhushan Gagrani said the hoarding was illegal as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had not given permission (for erecting it).

“It was an illegal hoarding. The location where the incident occurred has four hoardings set up on the railway land and one of them has collapsed.

He said the civic body would issue a notice for immediate removal of the hoarding and lodge a criminal complaint against the landholding authority and the owner of the billboard. “The Railways has permitted to erect the hoarding,” Gagrani claimed.

According to BMC officials, the hoarding measuring 120 x 120 feet crashed on the petrol pump at around 4:30 pm.

An official said the civic body doesn't permit any hoarding measuring above 40 x 40 feet.

He said the Mumbai civic body lodged an FIR on May 19, 2023, in connection with the poisoning of eight trees at the location near Chheda Nagar junction to increase the visibility of the concerned hoarding.

“We had repeatedly raised the issue for action,” he claimed and added that the Licence Department of the BMC had also issued a notice.

A police official said out of the three persons injured in the metal tower collapse incident at Pooja Junction in Wadala, one was admitted to a private hospital and two others in the civic-run Sion Hospital.

The collapsed metal structure is being removed with gas cutters and it will take time,” he said, adding an inquiry is being conducted and appropriate legal action will be taken.

A total of 187 incidents of tree or branch fall were reported in Mumbai and suburbs, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said. Of these, 16 incidents occurred in the island city, 104 in the eastern suburbs and 67 in the western suburbs.

One person was injured when the iron gate of a housing society collapsed, while a person practising on a yacht in the sea sustained a minor injury due to gusty winds.

Local train services on the Central Railway were suspended for more than two hours after the overhead equipment got damaged between two stations due to the storm and rains, inconveniencing passengers in the evening rush hour. Western Railway services were also delayed by at least 15-20 minutes.

Several parts of Mumbai witnessed heavy traffic snarls due to incidents of trees falling and rain. BEST buses were diverted at some locations due to rains and trees falling.

#Mumbai


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