7 dead in Mumbai building collapse

Apartment was recently issued evacuation notices

7 dead in Mumbai building collapse

Seven people, including a woman, were killed and three others injured when a seven-storey vacant building collapsed on huts near Grand Hyatt Hotel in the north-west suburb of Santacruz on Friday morning.

According to the fire brigade, a large portion of the dilapidated building, called Aaram Society, came crashing down on an adjoining collection of huts, called Catherine Chawl.

Around noon, municipal corporation disaster management control room declared that a 32-year-old woman, Sudha Sridharan, was crushed to death and three persons were injured. However, by late afternoon, clearing of the debris revealed more people buried underneath.

The 35-year-old building had been declared dangerous and was recently given evacuation notices by the municipal authorities. Civic officials said most families residing in the building had been evacuated, barring one family.

The building had been served demolition notices in 2007 and 2008, but later they were stayed by court orders.

Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu visited the site. “I have written repeated letters to the government to enact a law providing more powers to the civic corporation. We have to demolish dangerous buildings to avoid loss of life,” he told reporters.

Officials at the site said locals fear that at least seven more people could be trapped in the rubble. The rescue operation was expected to continue till late on Friday night.

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