Forty five people, including 11 children, were crushed to death in Thane on the
outskirts of Mumbai after a building collapsed while under construction
on Thursday evening. 50 people have been rescued, but some are still
believed trapped in the debris.
The seven-storey building
collapsed into a mangled heap of steel and concrete more than 20 feet
high that rescuers and local residents struggled to cut through.
building had been constructed illegally in two months, and sub-standard
material was used, said officials. Homes and offices had been set up
within the building. An eighth floor was under construction.
two builders, Jamil Qureshi and Salim Shaikh, have gone underground. The
police has filed a case against them of culpable homicide not amounting
to murder (Sec 304 of IPC) .
"The building (that has collapsed)
was an unauthorised construction. We are going to investigate thoroughly
into this and prepare a report," said Sandeep Malwi, spokesman for the
Thane municipal corporation.
A tuition centre for school students
had been set up within the building, but they had left for their homes
when the building collapsed at 6.30 pm.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar visited the accident site this afternoon.
The Shiv Sena, which controls the Thane Municipal Corporation, has passed the blame onto the ruling NCP-Congress government.
"Why didn't the local NCP leader and MLA Jitendra Ahwad lodge a complaint? Inquiry will be done, action will be taken," said Shiv Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe.