Fire brigade personnel conducting rescue operation at building collapse site in Fort area in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Firemen recovered one more body from the debris of a building, portion of which collapsed on Thursday evening, on early Friday and searching for more missing persons. Total six persons died in the incident including three of a family.
While three people suffered serious injuries, 15 others were rescued from the debris of Bhanushali building on Mint Road, near the GPO in south Mumbai. It’s British-era six-storey Mhada cessed building.
Locals said that the landlord, Mhada and tenants had decided to repair the structure earlier this year, but the plan got delayed due to coronavirus pandemic.
At the time of going to press, firemen and a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team were looking for more missing residents using search cameras and machinery to lift the heavy debris.
The six deceased were Kusum Gupta (45), Jotsna Gupta (50), and Padmalal Gupta (50), Kiran Mishra (35), Maniben Fariya (62) and an unidentified women aged 50 years.
The British-era building has around 40 tenanted premises for both residential and commercial purposes of which 12 were reduced to a rubble in the collapse. The BMC has vacated the building. As it is a Mhada cessed building, its officials will decide whether to pull down the structure or repair it.
Bang opposite Bhanushali building was Kothari Mansion, another century-old building that had partly crashed after a fire in 2018. Later, the structure was pulled down as it was declared ‘dangerous’. There are several such British-era buildings in the vicinity that need urgent repairs, said locals.
Locals said that Bhanushali building too was in urgent need of repair as its plaster was peeling and the a few parapets were missing. A local said that after heavy showers started on Wednesday, the residents called the landlord and asked to repair the structure immediately. Rakesh Jain, who owns a shop in Bhanushali building and lives in a nearby building, told TOI: “Around noon, part of a building started shaking and some residents rushed out before it collapsed like a pack of cards. But many got trapped under the debris. We cannot redevelop the building as it is surrounded by heritage precinct so we had opted for repairs, but the plan got delayed due to Covid-19 and now, the building is in shambles.”

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