Three people, including a senior citizen, were injured when a tree collapsed in a building during the demolition of its compound wall on Wednesday morning in Chembur.
Police have registered a case of negligence against the owner of the building Siddharth Mehta, who has not yet been arrested. While two of the injured Hamid Shaikh, 78, and Tarun Fafoliya, 55, sustained minor injuries and were home after treatment, Malani Khade, 45, has fractured her elbow and is in intensive care in a hospital.
At around 11.20am Siddharth Mehta, the owner of the three-storied Aditiya Villa near Sion-Trombay road, was supervising the demolition of the building’s compound wall to make way for a gate. After the wall was brought down, a tree that was resting on it lost support and fell on three residents of the adjoining Lala Aziz chawl. A Maruti Alto and a motorcycle, which were parked in a lane adjacent to the chawl, were also damaged, said Chunabhatti police.
The huge tree fell towards the chawl and the three were buried under its foliage. Locals rushed them to nearby hospitals. Shaikh and Khade were rushed to Surana Sethia hospital and Fafoliya was taken to Rajawadi hospital.
Khade has sustained a fracture in her right elbow. “Khade was brought in drowsy. But she is now well-oriented. Her CT scan didn’t show anything abnormal. We will decide on her for surgery in the night," said Dr Afzal Shaikh, vice president, Surana group of hospitals.
Mehta has been booked under Sections 336, 337 and 338 of the Indian Penal Code for acts endangering life or safety of others and causing grievous hurt.
“We inspected the spot in order to understand the sequence of events and have registered an FIR against Mehta. Further investigations are underway,” said Damodar Chaudhari, senior inspector at Chunabhatti police station.
The municipal corporation has said that the tree collapse is not their lookout as the tree was on private property.
“As the tree was located inside a private compound, we are only responsible for giving permissions for pruning. It is the responsibility of the occupant to appoint a private contractor to undertake the task of pruning,” said Narendra Barde, assistant commissioner, M-west ward.