A four storeyed building in Kurla’s Quresh Nagar collapsed on the adjoining chawl, which was barely a feet away, killing one child and injuring four others.
The incident occurred at 11.50 pm on Wednesday night. Residents said Building No. 1 inside Rafiq Estate compound collapsed after the toilet on its first floor caved in.
Within a few seconds, the three floors over the toilet too came crashing down, falling on the roof of two homes in the Ismail Piran Budan chawl.
“The building fell like a pack of cards, and three floors fell on the roof of the two homes, which collapsed under the impact. The debris fell on residents sleeping on the first floor,” said Wasim Qazi (37), a resident.
“There was a loud thud so we ran out of our homes and saw the building coming down,” said Jaitunnisa Bi, another resident, adding that many more of them would have been injured had they not been awake and waiting for the water tanker.
No resident of the building that collapsed was injured as it was evacuated quickly. The Khan family was not so lucky, and lost six year old Shahid Zahid Khan when the debris collapsed on their home.
Shahid was asleep on the upper level of his home with father Zahid (44) and mother Rukaiyya (42) and elder sister Amrin (21), all of whom were injured. “After four hours of search by the fire brigade, they located his disfigured body from under the cupboard,” said his aunt, Raisabhi Khan.
The second home in the chawl on which the debris fell was occupied by Farzana Bilal (27), who is severely injured. “She was trapped under the debris for 30 minutes. She has sustained severe injuries on her head and shoulders,” said Mohammad Bilal, her brother. Farzana is still in Sion hospital, but the three members of the Khan family were discharged after treatment.
Locals allege the building was illegal and they had complained to the ward office several times, but no action had been taken. “Ten years ago, it was a ground floor structure, but later the builder added four floors,” said Mohammad Shakeel (35).
“There are no records or documents about this building. It is illegally built,” a civic official said, requesting anonymity.
“We will conduct an inquiry,” said ward officer R Dhakne. “We have booked the owner of the building, Farzana Qureshi, and the people looking after the its maintenance for culpable homicide,” Dilip Sawant, DCP (Zone VI), said.
The building that collapsed housed 45 families, who have temporarily been shifted to an Urdu municipal school nearby.
Residents of the 10 other buildings at Rafiq Estate have also been shifted to the school.