Palghar: A four-storey residential building collapsed in Nallasopara area of Palghar district in Maharashtra in the wee hours of Wednesday, an official said. There was no casualty, Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation's chief fire officer Dileep Palav said.
Nearly 23 members of five families residing in the building, located on Achole Road in Nallasopara, rushed out just in time before the structure collapsed around 1.30 am, the official said.
The building, constructed in 2009, had developed cracks. It was declared dangerous some time back and a notice was also served to its owner following which 15 out of 20 families residing there shifted out, he said.
The remaining five families held a discussion on a ground in the premises around Tuesday midnight on further course of action. After the meeting, a couple residing on the fourth floor went to their flat to pick some money and they were just coming out of the main entrance when the building collapsed.
The others who were already downstairs also rushed out and got saved, the official said. "It is Gods grace that we are saved," building resident Nityananda Devrukhkar told reporters as tears rolled down her eyes.
Another woman resident said they were staying in the building as they had nowhere else to go in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown. "We have now lost everything," she said.
Work was underway to clear the debris and efforts were being made to search for the valuables of the building occupants, Palav said.
Heavy rains have been lashing the area since Tuesday night, he added.