Two people were killed and one injured — all civic workers operating the earth movers — when an illegal structure in Mira Road came crumbling down on Monday when it was being demolished.
Rajan Pandey, the builder of the structure, has gone into hiding, said the police.
The deceased have been identified as Babloo Yadav (22) and Pradeep Jadhav (30).
According to the civic authorities, at least six men had been deployed by the Mira-Bhayander Civic Corporation to start the demolition work of the Balaji Empire building.
The tenants of the building had been evacuated earlier.
Three earth movers were pressed into service for the demolition, the officials added.
According to witnesses, the civic workers instead of demolishing the ground-plus-three structure from the upper side, did just the opposite.
The building had been built on a nullah and hence had a weak foundation.
“I had warned the workers in the morning, but they did not pay any heed. They have paid the price,” said Sudhanshu Mehra, who was present at the site.
A police team was also present on the spot when the incident occurred.
The building, Balaji Empire, is near Golden Nest area in Mira Road. The two-year-old structure had 15 flats and four shops.
Balaji Empire is owned by a builder who has many other illegal structures in the same area. “The civic authorities had demolished some part of the Balaji Empire earlier, but it was only symbolic,” said Rajesh Shah, a local.
“We will start our investigation after the completion of the rescue work,” said sub-divisional police officer Maithli Jha.
Shiv Murti Naik, the municipal commissioner of Mira-Bhyander civic corporation, said: “The builder had obtained a stay order from the court and so the demolition was stopped.”