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Hoarding that collapsed was in use two months before stability certificate was issued: Cops

An official also said structural engineer Manoj Sanghu, who was arrested in connection with the incident, may have given such stability certificates to more than 25 structures installed by the concerned advertising firm.
Last Updated : 31 May 2024, 16:44 IST
Last Updated : 31 May 2024, 16:44 IST

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Mumbai: The hoarding that collapsed in Mumbai's Ghatkopar area on May 13, killing 17 persons and injuring scores of others, was in use two months before a 'structural stability' certificate was obtained for it, police officials said on Friday.

An official also said structural engineer Manoj Sanghu, who was arrested in connection with the incident, may have given such stability certificates to more than 25 structures installed by the concerned advertising firm.

As per the Crime Branch's probe, Sanghu issued the stability certificate to the ill-fated hoarding on April 24 last year, though the firm which installed it, Ego Media Private Limited. had started using it since February last year.

The official said Sanghu, while issuing the certificate, did not verify whether it was constructed as per norms, adding that he had conspired with directors of the firm and issued the stability certificate irresponsibly.

During his interrogation, accused Bhavesh Bhinde, who is director of Ego Media Private Limited, told police officials he and another director, Janhavi Marathe, had given work of preparing a design for erecting the huge hoarding structure at Ghatkopar to structural engineer Sanghu, the official said.

Marathe, whose anticipatory bail plea was rejected by a court on Friday, is a wanted accused in the case, he added.

"During the investigation, it also came to light that Sanghu received a specific amount each month in his bank account from advertisement firm Ego Media Private Limited between June 1, 2022, and April 10, 2024," the official said.

Mumbai Police has so far recorded statements of 15 to 20 persons in this case and will also record statements of the concerned officials of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Government Railway Police (GRP) in the coming days, the official said.

Seventeen persons were killed and 80 others injured after the hoarding collapsed on a petrol pump on May 13 amid a dust storm and unseasonal rain.

Sanghu was held by the Crime Branch on Thursday and was produced in the magistrate court on Friday. He was remanded in police custody till June 5.

Sanghu is the second person to be arrested in the case. Police had earlier arrested Ego Media Private Limited director Bhavesh Bhinde, who is currently in judicial custody.

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Published 31 May 2024, 16:44 IST

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