A 100-year-old cess building that was under repairs, collapsed at Masjid Bunder in south Mumbai on Saturday evening.
One person was killed and seven were injured. The body of Rustom Hajimullah Shaikh (33) was extricated from the rubble late on Saturday night.
The injured are labourers working in the building.
Cess buildings are dilapidated buildings the repairs for which are undertaken by state government agencies.
A month ago, the municipal corporation had declared the building unsafe and given its occupants an evacuation notice. The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority was repairing the structure.
Local residents said the building was dilapidated and vacant. It was a commercial building with a godown on the ground floor where eight labourers were working.
As debris started to fall, four of them ran out of the building while the rest were trapped in the debris.
“First, a portion of the building collapsed, but in no time the entire building came crashing down,” said Bharat Thakur, a passer-by.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone 2), Sanjay Mohite, said: “The reason for the collapse has not yet been ascertained. The BMC will submit its report to us. If we find that it is a case of negligence, we will take appropriate action.”
Clean up marshals from the BMC rescued one person from the debris and fire brigade officials rescued the others.
“When the building collapsed, we rushed to help those trapped. The fire brigade and police reached the spot and took the charge of the situation,” a witness said.
The injured were rushed to JJ hospital at Byculla. Two of the seven were unconscious when they were rescued.
Fire brigade personnel, however, fear that some more labourers may be trapped under the debris.
“We are still clearing the site,” said fire brigade official present at the site requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.