Three people died and 11 others were injured in a house collapse in Mankhurd on Thursday morning. The incident occurred at around 6 am when the ground plus one structure collapsed on two adjacent houses owing to a cylinder blast. It occurred at the Saibaba Rahivashi Sangh area in the Maharashtra Nagar slums of Mankhurd.
The deceased have been identified as Kasturba Wankhede, 60, Rekha Sanjay Wankhede, 30, and Sanjay Wankhede, 35. The fire brigade rushed three fire engines and one ambulance to the spot.
After a preliminary inquiry, fire officials suspect that a gas leakage on the ground floor of the house led to the blast. A fire official said, “The blast could have occurred when one of the members of the Wankhede family would have lit the gas stove. The impact of the explosion led to the house’s wall to collapse on two other houses injuring many.”
Three families – Wankhedes, Pawars and Gavdes — were affected in the incident. The injured also include four children, officials said. While eight of the injured have been admitted to the civic-run Sion hospital, two are in Shatabdi hospital and one person was discharged in the afternoon.
By afternoon a truckload of debris was being cleared from the spot. Fire officials said there will be complete inquiry in the incident.
A resident of the slum said, “We heard the explosion in the morning, but it took us some time to understand what had happened. There was smoke all around the area. We could start rescuing people only after the smoke had reduced.”
Located in the narrow lanes, the Maharashtra Nagar is one of the many slums in the eastern Deonar-Govandi-Mankhurd belt. The slums are located just a kilometre away from the Mankhurd fire command and control centre, which is just partly operational.
Recent incidents of building collapse
In December 2016, the JK Somani building in Fort was engulfed in flames owing to cylinder blasts. The central part of the building had also partially collapsed and cracks developed on the facade. Fortunately, no injuries were reported in the incident
In October 2016, six children died and five other were injured after a four-storey illegal structure collapsed in Bandra’s Behrampada slums
In September 2016, one person lost his life and 15 others were injured after a wall collapse in the hilly areas of T ward (Mulund)
In July 2016, nine members of a family were killed after a fire broke out in a shop beneath their house in Andheri and the escape route was blocked.