A 14-hour-long effort to rescue a 12-year-old girl, trapped under debris after heavy rain led to the collapse of a wall in Mumbai's Malad area, ended in tragedy as the rescue team pulled out her body on Tuesday evening.
A massive rescue effort to save the girl, identified as Sanchita, began this morning after her cry for help was heard from under the debris. The girl could be heard calling out for water to drink.
Efforts had been made to give her a drip as the rescue operations were underway. "We gave her injections but there was little effect of that," the family of the girl said. "Then she was no more. We lost her because it took long to take her out," her family said.
The rescue operation was led by teams of the National Disaster Response Force and the Mumbai Fire Brigade. The weather conditions and uneven and muddy ground made it difficult for the rescuers to bring in cranes that could lift the debris. Instead, the teams had to lift small section of the wall and clear a path to reach the girl.
A compound wall collapsed on some of the houses in the area after heavy overnight rain, trapping several people under debris. Sniffer dogs were also brought to help with the search and rescue operation.
A woman who was trapped under debris was pulled out alive earlier today after a 12-hour ordeal. Also, an unconscious man was also pulled out by the rescue teams.
Mumbai is witnessing the heaviest rain over a 24-hour period since the 2005 deluge. Twenty-one people have died in rain-related incidents, including two men who drowned in their SUV when it was submerged in a waterlogged underpass in Malad (East). The weather office has sounded a red-alert for the city today, warning of more rain.
The Maharashtra government has declared a holiday in Mumbai and adjoining Thane. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the families of those killed in the wall crash.
"Pained to know about the loss of lives in Malad Wall Collapse incidence. My thoughts are with families who lost loved ones & prayers for speedy recovery of injured," he said on Twitter.