- Over 60 rescued in 20-hour long operation, several missing
- Three NDRF and 12 fire brigade teams on the spot
- Case registered against building contractor, architect
Thirteen people have died and three are still missing after a residential building collapsed in Maharashtra's Raigad district on Monday evening. The rescue operation has been going on for more than 24 hours now.
More than 60 people have been rescued since yesterday, officials said.
Three teams of the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) and 12 teams of the fire brigade are at the spot. The five-storey building, which was about seven years old, had over 45 flats.
The rescue officials had a brief moment of relief when they pulled out a four-year-old alive from the debris this afternoon. A video showed them bursting into cheers when the boy was found.
This morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: "Saddened by the building collapse in Mahad, Raigad in Maharashtra. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their dear ones. I pray the injured recover soon. Local authorities and NDRF teams are at the site of the tragedy, providing all possible assistance."
Saddened by the building collapse in Mahad, Raigad in Maharashtra. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their dear ones. I pray the injured recover soon. Local authorities and NDRF teams are at the site of the tragedy, providing all possible assistance: PM
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 25, 2020
Home Minister Amit Shah described the incident as "tragic" in a tweet on Monday and said that he has spoken to SN Pradhan, the chief of the disaster response force to provide all possible assistance.
The collapse of a building in Raigad, Maharashtra is very tragic. Have spoken to DG @NDRFHQ to provide all possible assistance, teams are on the way and will be assisting with the rescue operations as soon as possible. Praying for everyone's safety.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 24, 2020
Visuals from this morning showed the NDRF teams at work. In a video tweeted by the NDRF, sniffer dogs were also seen assisting the officials. Another footage showed the area around the spot covered in a huge cloud of dust as a part of the building collapsed to the ground.
T3️⃣ʀᴀɪɢᴀᴅ ʙᴜɪʟᴅɪɴɢ ᴄᴏʟʟᴀᴘsᴇ Update????25/8/20
????@NDRFHQ teams of @5Ndrf on site
????Carrying out SAR ops
????With all Spl eqpt
????Canine Squad being used
????@5Ndrf Bn Commandant monitoring real-time@PMOIndia@HMOIndia@BhallaAjay26@PIBHomeAffairs@ANI@DDNewslivepic.twitter.com/j250BH9Awm
— ѕαtчα prαdhαnसत्य नारायण प्रधान ସତ୍ଯପ୍ରଧାନ-DG NDRF (@satyaprad1) August 25, 2020
Two state ministers - Aaditya Thackeray and Eknath Shinde - visited the accident site yesterday.
A case has been registered against the contractor of the building, Yunus Shaikh, and the architect.
"The contractor is responsible for the disaster and a case has been registered against him. Also, if any government officials are involved in this, strict action will be taken against them," Mr Shinde said.
A probe into the incident will begin after the rescue operations are over.
"A case has been registered against the developer and architect. Whoever will be responsible, strict action will be taken against them. It would take another seven-eight hours to clear the debris," Collector Nidhi Chaudhary told NDTV this afternoon.
Those who have suffered serious injuries are being taken to state capital Mumbai, about 60 km away, for treatment.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear. However, several similar accidents have been reported during monsoon. The monsoon plays a vital role in boosting agricultural harvests across South Asia. But it also causes widespread death and destruction, unleashing floods, triggering building collapses and inundating low-lying villages.
Last month, heavy rain in Mumbai caused the collapse of a multi-storey building, killing nine people and injuring several others.