Thane building collapse toll over 50; two suspended

Two officials were suspended on Friday for not heeding complaints regarding the unauthorised structure.

Last Updated: Apr 05, 2013, 23:57 PM IST

Thane: At least 56 people died in the collapse of the seven-storey illegal under-construction building with more bodies pulled out of the debris on Friday, a day after the mishap which led to the suspension of a deputy municipal commissioner and a senior police inspector.

Twenty-four hours after one of the worst building collapses in Maharashtra, there were some lucky survivors with 35-year-old Sunita Devi and three-year-old Ankit Yadav trapped under the mound of debris being rescued. Both were admitted to the Chatrapati Shivaji Civic Hospital at Kalwa, police said.

56 persons died in the mishap, Sandip Malvi, PRO Thane Municipal Corporation, said late tonight.

Earlier, police had said that 47 persons died in the mishap of whom 17 were children, 11 women and 19 men. Around 60 persons were also injured, police said.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told reporters that the collapsed structure at Shil Phata in Daighar in Mumbra was illegal and it has to be found how it was allowed to exist.

Chavan earlier told the state assembly that the deputy municipal commissioner concerned and senior police inspector have been suspended and that an additional chief secretary level probe has been ordered.

"Anybody found in dereliction of duty will be punished," he said.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), pressed into service to assist the local police and civic administration, had earlier rescued 59 persons.

Heartbreaking tales like a male survivor losing 13 of his family members unfolded, as rescuers armed with sensor-fitted equipment still looked for survivors and bodies in the debris of bricks, mortar and twisted steel, a day after the collapse at Shil Phata in Daighar in Mumbra.

The injured have been admitted to hospitals in Thane, Kalwa and Mumbra and the seriously injured were shifted to JJ and Sion Hospitals in Mumbai.

A case has been registered against builders Salil and Khalil Jamadar under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC, Thane Commissioner of Police K P Raghuvanshi said, adding the two were absconding.

Alok Awasthi, Commandant of the NDRF, did not rule out some more survivors being trapped under the debris.

Awasthi said though he was not an engineer, the poor quality of construction was primarily responsible for the tragedy.