The residents of Babu Hafiz Zindani apartments near Kalwa naka had to shift to a transit camp on Tuesday as their building collapsed after developing cracks.
This is the second such incident this year, after Vilas apartments near Manishanagar, in Kalwa had tilted to its right and developed cracks on June 20.
Civic and fire brigade officials were trying to pull the building down safely when it collapsed on its own.
“The building was constructed in 1982. Because it is old, it might have sunk in. It was not in the list of dangerous structures,” said deputy municipal commissioner (anti-encroachment) B.G. Pawar.
“We had evacuated the families from the building and the three adjoining buildings. The residents have been shifted to a transit camp. The building did not damage any other structure except a wall of the adjoining building,” he added.
Officials said the three-storey building that was home to 16 families was illegal and was constructed on reclaimed land near the creek, which could be one of the reasons for the sinking.
Locals took the lead in helping out trapped residents, even before civic officials reached the spot.
“Around 3 pm, I was at my home in the nearby Sarole apartments, when I heard a noise. I saw that the building had sunk in and developed cracks. I rushed to help. Those residing on the ground floor were banging on the doors as they were stuck inside. We pushed the door and rescued the residents,” said Saif Sarole (21).
Though residents were safe, they were worried about their belongings.
One of the residents managed to sneak in to get gold ornaments but picked up the wrong bag. He wasn’t given a second chance to enter the building.
“All our belongings are inside. We need to get them as we don’t know where we will be staying after the transit camp,” said Nabeel Mukaddam (26), a resident of the building.
“I was not home when the building sank. I got a call and I rushed home. We had made repairs in the building only last month,” added Mukaddam.
In another incident, a parapet of an illegal building in Mumbra collapsed.
No injuries were reported. The residents, however, alleged that the parapet collapsed as it was partially constructed.
The building has been under construction for the past three years.
Though the civic officials and police asked them to shift to a nearby transit camp, the residents refused to do so.