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Mumbai building collapse death toll hits 61, one arrested

Last Updated: Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 09:13

Zee Media Bureau

Mumbai: The death toll in the Mumbai residencial building collapse has risen to 61 as more bodies were recovered from debris on Sunday morning.

Due to weather constraints, the rescue operations were called off early Sunday.

The police on Saturday arrested the owner of a decoration company for illegally carrying out renovation work at his officer at the ground floor of the ill-fated structure.

It is suspected that the renovation and alteration works carried out on the ground floor led to the collapse of the four-storey building owned by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mazgaon area, police said. Part of the ground floor had been leased out for commercial activities.

"Ashok Mehta, the owner of Mamamiya Decorators, was arrested for renovating his office-cum-warehouse on the ground floor of the building, thus causing the collapse," said an officer at Sewree police station, where a complaint has been registered.
Mehta had taken the office space on lease from BMC.

According to the complaint by a Deputy Superintendent of BMC, Mehta had carried out alteration and renovation works without prior permission from the civic body and this had triggered the tragic incident, said Additional Police Commissioner Krishna Prakash.

Mehta and his associates were booked under IPC Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), among others.

Around 21 families, which were BMC`s tenants, lived in the 30-year-old structure which caved in yesterday morning. It was categorised as a C-2 building, which meant it was in need of urgent repairs.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 16:22
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