The record-breaking amount of rain in Mumbai brought another horrific incident to light as a 117-year-old six-storey Husaini building came crashing down on the morning of 31st August 2017 at around 8:30 am. The building was located off the Pakmodia Street in the congested Bhendi Bazaar area in south Mumbai. The latest number of dead people is estimated to be 34 with the number of injuries tolling at 15 and still counting.
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Personnel of the fire department, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Mumbai’s civic agency have been at the scene and helping out people to locate the injured and also look for any people stuck under the collapsed rubble. The rescued people are being rushed to Sir JJ Hospital where they are undergoing treatment.
The building was awaiting the redevelopment from the SaifeeBurhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) controlled by the Bohri Muslim community. Some of the residents, however, refused to move out for the demolition to take place. The building is supposed to have housed a total of 13 tenants which included 12 residential and 1 commercial of which 7 families had been shifted. The ground floor had a sweet manufacturing unit and shop and also a caterers’ godown and kitchen.
The Chief Fire Officer, Prabhat Rahangdale, has said that they would continue to dig till the last person or body is accounted for. The people claim to have heard a loud explosion after which a cloud of dust and smoke engulfed the entire area. What followed were screams of men and women alike with confusion spread at the scene.
The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), in a notice issued on March 28 and May 20 in 2011 clearly declares the building unsafe post which the tenants were offered transit accommodation.
This is the second incident of a major building collapse in the city in just over a month, after the crash of a residential complex in Ghatkopar on July 25, where 17 people died.