Mumbai billboard collapse: Death toll rises to 14, over 80 injured

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde, who inspected the site and oversaw rescue operations, announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the deceased, as well as free medical treatment for those injured.
Last Updated : 13 May 2024, 13:02 IST
Last Updated : 13 May 2024, 13:02 IST

Follow Us :


Mumbai: The death toll in the dust storm-triggered hoarding collapse in Mumbai has mounted to 14 on Tuesday even as the incident snowballed into a major row with both the ruling BJP-led Maha Yuti (NDA) and the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (I.N.D.I.A.) trading charges against each other.

On the other hand, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has launched a drive to pull down illegal hoardings and signboards in the surrounding areas.

The giant illegal hoarding - billed as India’s biggest - collapsed over the petrol station and CNG pump in Ghatkopar's Pantnagar locality in Mumbai on Monday evening as an unexpected dust storm hit the city and the larger Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR).

The overnight rescue and relief operations continued on Tuesday with multiple agencies taking part in the search and relief mission. 

The Disaster Management Unit of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation confirmed the death toll of 14.

More than 80-plus people have been injured in the accident. 

The billboards on the land owned by the Government Railway Police were installed by Ego Media Pvt Ltd, an advertising agency owned by Bhavesh Bhinde. 

The 120x120-foot hoarding measured bigger than an Olympic size pool and nine times more than the maximum permitted size for a hoarding, according to reports. 

Bhide has been booked under 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 337 (causing hurt to another person by acting rashly or negligently) read with section 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and a case has been registered at Pantnagar police station. Bhide is yet to be traced by the police teams.

The rescue teams faced challenges as they were not able to use gasoline-powered cutter equipment and oxyfuel cutters, which can result in a blast or fire as there is a petrol pump at the site. 

Senior Congress leader and AICC state in-charge Ramesh Chennithala has demanded that the state government conduct a thorough investigation into the Ghatkopar incident and take strict action against those responsible.

"No people's representatives in the municipal corporation exist for two years because the government has not held elections. All the affairs are being run by officers and employees of the municipal corporation as per the directives of the State government,” he said. 

“The condition of Mumbai has become very bad due to the corrupt coalition government in the state, the city of Mumbai has been destroyed by profit seeking nexus. The hoarding in Ghatkopar is an example, thousands of such illegal hoardings are displayed in the city. Such unauthorised hoardings cannot be put up without the blessings of the BMC, State government and police administration. Who allowed the hoarding to be put up in Ghatkopar and which political leader was behind it, all these questions should be thoroughly investigated and action should be taken against the real culprits,” said Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole.

Senior BJP leader Dr Kirit Somaiya, on the other hand, claimed that the permission was granted when Uddhav Thackeray was the chief minister. 

While it was claimed that Bhide’s agency had received permission from the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Railways), BMC officials have said a nod from the municipal corporation is also necessary for all billboards in areas under its jurisdiction.

Published 13 May 2024, 13:02 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us