33-year-old security guard killed, 7 hurt in godown collapse near Mumbai
A 33-year-old security guard died, while seven workers were injured after a portion of a ground-plus-one storey godown collapsed at Harihar compound in Dapode village, located on Bhiwandi’s Mankoli Road, on Monday around 10am.
The 15-year-old godown belonged to an online goods delivery firm. There were 31 workers present at the godown when the incident took place. As soon as the portion of the first floor collapsed, 23 workers managed to escape, while eight others were trapped under the debris. The security guard, Saurabh Tripathi, died on the spot, as the slab fell on his head, while seven others who were rescued from under the debris are undergoing treatment.
Soon after the collapse, Bhiwandi police, Bhiwandi Nizampur City Municipal Corporation (BNCMC) fire brigade team, ambulances, Thane civic body fire brigade, Thane Disaster Response Force (TDRF) and National Disaster Management personnel reached the spot. The rescue operations were called off around 5pm. Canine search was also conducted at the collapse site to ensure no one was trapped under the debris.
One of the workers – 20-year-old Hrutik Patil – who was rescued around 4.30pm has suffered severe injuries on both his legs as he was trapped under the debris for six hours. He is undergoing treatment at a private hospital.
“He was stuck under the debris in a way that there was no space to rescue him. The NDRF team took over the rescue operations and created a cavity in the area where he was stuck. After this, they managed to pull him out, but both his legs are severely injured,” said Santosh Kadam, chief, regional disaster management cell (RDMC), Thane.
According to Ashish Kumar, deputy commandant, NDRF, the personnel were unable to cut the pillar that collapsed over Patil. “It would have led to further collapse of the structure. So we decided to make space below and he was rescued,” said Kumar.
Patil’s mother Jaimala waited outside the godown all through the rescue operations till her son was found. Patil had left home around 7am on Monday. His brother Ajay, 24, who also works in the same godown, stayed at home.
“I had asked Hrutik to wait and go with Ajay in the afternoon, but he wanted to add extra work hours, and thus left in the morning,” said Jaimala.
For 20-year-old Kayum Khan, the cleaner of the container, this was a narrow escape. Khan was about to enter the godown to take his phone which he had kept for charging. As he walked towards the godown, it collapsed before his eyes, leaving him in a state of shock.
“I can never forget the incident. I would have also been trapped if I had entered the godown to get the mobile phone. Our parked container actually helped many survive the collapse,” said Khan.
Some workers claimed that construction was being carried out recently on top of the existing godown, exactly at the portion which had collapsed. According to them, the new construction led to the collapse. Nitesh Marathe, 30, who works at the dispatch section of the godown, said, “There is a construction happening exactly above the portion of the godown which collapsed.”
“The godown was built in 2006 and the permission for its construction was acquired from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). We will ask the MMRDA to carry out an audit of all the structures nearby as this godown is not very old,” said Aadik Patil, tahsildar, Bhiwandi.
An MMRDA official said,” The godown was built before the MMRDA was appointed as the planning authority of the village. We’ll check the details and accordingly act further.”
Meanwhile, the Narpoli police are awaiting a report from MMRDA to take further action.
“We will wait for the authority to send the report so that the exact cause of the collapse is known, following which legal action will be taken,” said a police officer.