Mumbai hoarding collapse: Death toll rises to 17; SIT to probe Ghatkopar incident | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Mumbai hoarding collapse: Death toll rises to 17; SIT to probe Ghatkopar incident

By | Written by Vaishnawi Sinha | Edited by Aniruddha Dhar
May 22, 2024 12:08 PM IST

The death toll in Ghatkopar's hoarding collapse rose to 17 on Wednesday when one person rescued from the rubble succumbed to his injuries.

Mumbai hoarding collapse: The death toll in the billboard collapse incident in Mumbai's Ghatkopar has jumped to 17 this week as a person receiving treatment after being rescued from the rubble succumbed to his injuries. Raju Sonawane, 52, was one of the 41 people receiving treatments for his injuries in the hospital after being pulled out of the wreckage when the hoarding collapsed on a petrol pump.

The spot in Ghatkopar, Mumbai, where a large hoarding came crashing down, killing 16 people. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT)
The spot in Ghatkopar, Mumbai, where a large hoarding came crashing down, killing 16 people. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT)

Raju Sonawane was declared dead at 11pm on May 19 at KEM Hospital. Before this, the bodies of a couple were pulled out from a car trapped under the debris of the hoarding collapse, taking the death toll to 16.

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Meanwhile, the Mumbai Crime Branch has formed a six-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the Ghatkopar hoarding collapse incident, officials confirmed on Wednesday.

Bhavesh Bhide, the company owner that put up the giant billboard, was arrested by the Mumbai Crime Branch from Udaipur in Rajasthan last week and brought to Mumbai. Officials added that police are investigating how Bhide was awarded the hoarding contract and how much he earned.

Read more: Hoarding collapses on Pune-Solapur Highway; horse injured

Mumbai Police issued an official statement saying, “Mumbai Crime Branch forms an SIT to investigate the incident. The SIT will now investigate the matter. The SIT comprises 6 officers. The SIT has checked the residence of prime accused Bhavesh Bhinde and seized important documents from there. He has a total of 7 bank accounts in different banks.”

17 people died and 75 were left injured after an illegal hoarding bigger than the size of an Olympic pool collapsed on top of a petrol pump in Ghatkopar. The reason for the collapse was a weak foundation of the pillar on which the billboard was supported, and dust storms across the city.

Read more: After outcry, PMC pulls down hoarding in front of its headquarters

The billboard collapse also triggered a political slugfest in Maharashtra. A day after the incident, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya took a jibe at the previous Maharashtra government.

“I want to inform you that Uddhav Thackeray became the Chief Minister on November 28, 2019. This property comes under the jurisdiction of the then-Maharashtra Government. The land jurisdiction doesn't come under Central Government or Railway Ministry,” he said.

(With inputs from ANI)

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