September 29, 2013 – Mumbai Building Collapse Kills 61: The death toll from the collapse of a residential building in Mumbai rose to 61 Sunday morning, police said, as rescue operations were called to a halt. Rescue workers have pulled more than 90 people, including the dead, from the rubble of the building, which collapsed around 6 a.m. local time Friday. Ashok Thorat, the police officer investigating the collapse, said the area has been cleared and no more people are trapped. The building owner remains in police custody. Pictured above, firefighters rescued a child from the debris.
A doctor at one of two local government hospitals where residents of the building were taken said a total of 32 people are being treated for their injuries. Three are in a critical condition, she said.
The owner of a shop on the ground floor of the building is in police custody after a complaint was filed against him by the city council Friday, Mr. Thorat said.
Pictured above, Indian women react after hearing a relative was found dead inside the collapsed four-story residential building in Mumbai, India, on Saturday.
Mr. Mehta couldn’t be reached for comment. He hasn’t been charged. He will remain in police custody until Tuesday, Mr. Thorat said. Mr. Thorat added that Mr. Mehta has rented the ground floor from the BMC, which built and owns the building, since 1998.
The police are also investigating the BMC as it was the council’s responsibility, as the builder and owner, to inspect and repair the building, Mr. Thorat said. The municipal commissioner, Sitaram Kunte, didn’t respond to requests to comment.
Mumbai’s mayor, Sunil Prabhu, told news channels Friday that 22 families were staying in the building, in the dockyard area in the south of the city. Mr. Prabhu also said the building was dilapidated and undergoing repairs.
In August, at least 11 people were killed when two apartment buildings collapsed in Vadodara, in the northwestern state of Gujarat. In July, 17 people died in a building collapse in Secunderabad in south India, a week after a building housing a garment factory in Bhiwandi, around 20 miles from Mumbai, collapsed, killing six people.
The deadliest case in India this year occurred in Thane, also near Mumbai, when 74 people, including 18 children, were killed after an illegally constructed residential building collapsed.
In April, more than 1,100 people died when a factory complex collapsed in neighboring Bangladesh. It was one of the world’s worst industrial disasters. (Credits – The Wall Street Journal and Associated Press).
The Master of Disaster