After 13 hours of rescue operations in the rain by the of National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF), Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) and Mumbai fire department, nine bodies were pulled out of the debris after a three-storey building collapsed at Thakurli, near Dombivli, on Tuesday night. Out of the 15 people rescued, 10 are severely injured.
“We ended the rescue operation at 1pm and later started demolishing the rest of the building,” said KDMC fire officer Sudhakar Kulkarni. Residents protested saying they had not been allowed to collect their belongings.
Built in 1972, Matrukrupa building had 25 families living in it during the incident. The building was declared unsafe five years ago and since 2013 the KDMC had been sending notices to the owners to vacate it, but they had refused.
Hirday Narayan Yadav, 45, and his family of four had a narrow escape. “We lived on ground floor and minutes before the collapse, I saw the windows grilles shaking. I immediately asked my family members to vacate the house and also alerted others. As soon as we ran out, the staircase collapsed. People were stuck on the building’s first and second floor.
Some of them jumped off the building,” said Yadav.
Many residents helped the officials rescue people. People living in the nearby Avinash Niwas building were also asked to vacate their flats.
KDMC commissioner E Ravindran has ordered a probe against the three building owners, who have been absconding since the incident.