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Mumbai billboard collapse: Death toll rises to 16, rescue operations continue

A small fire broke out at the incident site in Ghatkopar during the search and rescue operation on Wednesday morning, but it was immediately doused by the fire tenders deployed there, an NDRF official said.
Last Updated : 15 May 2024, 04:25 IST
Last Updated : 15 May 2024, 04:25 IST

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Mumbai: Two more bodies have been located under the debris at the site of a giant hoarding collapse in Mumbai as the search and rescue operation continued more than 40 hours after the incident, officials said on Wednesday. The bodies were spotted last night at the hoarding crash site in Ghatkopar, but were yet to be pulled out, they said.

The illegal hoarding that stood on a piece of land in possession of the Government Railway Police (GRP) crashed on a petrol pump in Chheda Nagar area on Monday evening when the city was hit by dust storms and unseasonal rains.

Rescue teams had earlier extricated 89 persons from under the collapsed hoarding, of whom 14 were declared dead while the other 75 were injured, as per officials.

National Disaster Response Force's (NDRF) Assistant Commandant Nikhil Mudholkar told PTI on Wednesday, "We have spotted two bodies stuck under the third girder (of the collapsed hoarding) but we are facing difficulties in reaching the spot. One needs to crawl to reach there."

"We have removed the first girder after cutting it overnight and are now removing the debris with the help of earthmovers and excavators," he said.

The NDRF personnel will now cut the second girder and there are more than five such girders (at the crash site), he said.

After removing the girders it will be known how many people are still trapped, the official said. On Wednesday morning, a small fire broke out at the incident site during the search and rescue operation, but it was immediately doused by the fire tenders deployed there, an NDRF official said. "There was a small fire but it was extinguished immediately," the official said. The search and rescue operation continued more than 40 hours after the incident, officials said.

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Published 15 May 2024, 03:49 IST

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