The building in Mumbai’s congested Dongri that collapsed on Tuesday morning is around 100 years old, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said. About 40 people are believed to be trapped under the debris.
Fadnavis told reporters that the around 15 families are feared trapped.” It was a 100-year-old building… It was not in the list of dangerous buildings,” the chief minister said, citing initial information.
A senior civic official later told that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had alerted Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority, or MHADA, about the building. “MHADA then issued a notice in 2017…. A structural audit was carried out in 2017 and the building was declared as C1 (extremely dangerous),” Ashwini Joshi, Additional Municipal Commissioner, said.
Fadnavis said the government will probe if there was any lapse on part of the developer who had been assigned the redevelopment project by residents. But for now, the chief minister said the entire focus in on rescuing the people trapped.
Rescue workers from the fire services, police and the National Disaster Response Force are looking for survivors and pulling them out. But they have had to work with their hands tied due to the limited access to the debris.
“Access is a very big challenge for us at this time. The lanes are narrow, so we cannot take any machinery inside,” a senior fire service official told Hindustan Times.
“We are manually doing all work, clearing debris, cutting iron girders. Since these are old buildings that were renovated at some point, they have been supported with iron rods around the structure of the building. This is proving rescue challenging, and is very problematic for those stuck in the debris,” the official added.