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11 killed in Mumbai building crash (Third Lead) (With Images)

Mumbai, July 25 (IANS) At least 11 persons, including five women and a three-month old baby, were killed when a four-storied dilapidated residential building crashed in Ghatkopar suburb here on Tuesday morning, officials said.

Another 19 persons were rescued from the debris of the crashed Sai Darshan building in Damodar Park. Rescue work was underway late on Tuesday evening to extricate around eight persons feared trapped under the rubble.

Around 12 families were believed to be living in the ill-fated structure which also housed a private nursing home on the ground floor.

According to eyewitnesses, around 10.43 a.m., the building suddenly collapsed amidst a thick cloud of dust and they heard screams and cries of help from the residents.

The Mumbai Fire Brigade, BMC rescue teams, NDRF and SDRF teams and others rushed to spot with 14 fire engines, rescue vans, ambulances, JCBs and metal cutters.

According to officials, the building figured on the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation’s list of dangerous buildings and had been served an evacuation notice six months ago.

According to the BMC Disaster Control, of those rescued, 11 have been admitted to various hospitals for treatment.

Two of the injured are firemen who were suffocated after inhaling fumes from a ruptured gas pipeline. The rest were discharged after treatment.

Taking a grim view of what is this monsoon’s first major building crash, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is in New Delhi, ordered an enquiry and asked Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta to submit a report within 15 days.

State Housing Minister Prakash Mehta, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, senior Congress leader and ex-minister M. Naseem Khan, NCP city President Sachin Aher, local legislators and municipal corporators and officials, rushed to the site to supervise rescue and relief operations.

Replying to a question whether the nursing home was owned by a local Shiv Sena leader and illegal repairs were being carried out, Minister Mehta assured strict action against whoever was responsible for the crash and loss of lives.

The deceased have been identified as a three-month old girl child Renuka Lalit Thakk, her mother Amruta Thakk, 31, Sulakshana Khanchandani, 80, and her relatives Kishore Khanchandani, 50, and Mikul Khanchandani, 30, Ranjana Shah, 62, Divya P. Ajmera, 48, Pandharinath Dongre, 75 and his relatives Manorama Dongre, 70, and Krishu Dongre, 13, and 85-year old Mansukh Gajjar.

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