A temporary elevator rigged up in a shaft in the newly-constructed 22-storeyed La Sonarisa building at Matunga came crashing down 15 floors on Sunday morning killing five construction labourers and injuring one.
The police have arrested Ketan Shah, a partner in Success Developers Private Limited, the firm that was building the structure. “We have booked Shah, Boman Irani, Percy Choudhari, Kaushik Shah, Chandresh Mehta and Bipin Singhania for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, attempt to culpable homicide and negligence,” Sunil Desh-mukh, senior police inspector, said.
Singhania is the elevator contractor while the others are partners in this venture. Irani is also the chairman and managing director of Rustomjee builders while Choudhari is a director. “Our company was in collaboration with Success for this project. It was an accident and we regret it,” Irani said.
A statement from Success Developers said the company had discontinued the use of the goods elevator and it was ‘unauthorisedly misused’.
The partly-occupied building is the saleable part of a slum rehabilitation project. The labourers used the temporary elevator because they were not allowed to use the two passenger elevators in the building. The Hindustan Times noticed the words ‘labours no are allowed’ (sic) and ‘only for residents and staff’ scribbled on each of the two passenger elevators. A guard at the site also confirmed that labourers were not allowed to use these elevators.
The injured labourer is in the ICU of Sion hospital.