A week after a building collapse in Thakurli claimed nine lives, a three-storey building collapsed near Thane railway station in the wee hours of Tuesday.
Twelve people died and seven injured when Krishna Niwas building in the B cabin area of Naupada came crashing down.
The building collapsed at 2.30am when residents were fast asleep giving them no warning. Nearly 20 people were stuck in the debris.
"Around 2am, I heard a loud noise. I saw whole building collapsed in five seconds. Fire engines rushed to the spot in next 15 minutes," said Rajan Khatri, who works as a security guard in adjoining building.
Santosh Kadam, disaster management officer, said, "We reached the spot within 15 minutes. Before the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team reached the spot, our fire brigade personnel had pulled out three people from the debris."
NDRF deputy commandant Sachidanand Gavde said his force received a call at 3am and reached the spot an hour later. "We rescued four people who were stuck under the debris," he said.
The 50 NDRF personnel and two sniffer dogs sped up the rescue operation by tracing people who were alive under the debris. Seven people were rescued by the fire brigade and NDRF team. The rescue operation was over by 10.30am.
The three-storey building had 16 flats and five families lived in the building. It was constructed in 1965 and was a ‘Pagdi’ system (where owner and tenants pay 50% per cent of flat cost).
Thane Municipal Corporation had issued notices to residents to evacuate the 50-year-old building, the officials said. While some families had left the building, a few others continued to stay there, they added.
Arvind Nene (80), who lived on the third floor, was the first to be rescued. People living on the third floor were rescued alive but those on the first and second floor did not survive the crash. The flats on the ground floor were vacant.
Vile Parle resident Rajesh Barve lost his 65-year-old uncle in the building collapse. Mahadeo Barve used to live alone in the building. “I reached the spot at 4.30am. Those pulled out by the rescuers were beyond recognition. My uncle had six fingers on his toes and his body was found at 6am."
Sandeep Malvi, public relations officer of TMC, said, “The 50-year-old building was a legal and we had not received any complaints about the structure. It was not on our list of dangerous buildings."