Death toll in Mumbai’s wall collapse goes up to 23
Officials said the body of 38-year-old Pappu Ganesh Shah was found from the site at 6.30am on Wednesday. Shah was declared “brought dead” to the Trauma Care hospital in Jogeshwari.Updated: Jul 03, 2019, 11:23 IST
Another body was recovered from the debris in Mumbai’s western suburb of Malad on Wednesday taking the death toll to 23, a day after a wall came crashing down on shanties caused by the worst rains in a single day since the 2005 floods in the city.
Officials said the body of 38-year-old Pappu Ganesh Shah was found from the site at 6.30am on Wednesday. Shah was declared “brought dead” to the Trauma Care hospital in Jogeshwari.
The heavy rain had brought down a retaining wall of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) reservoir on hutments on a hillock in Kurar village, Malad around 1am on Tuesday.
Locals said the wall was built around three years ago and alleged that it blocked a culvert. With no outlet for the rainwater, it accumulated near the wall, putting pressure on it and leading to the collapse, they claimed.
“I have been living in this area for more than 20 years. It floods every monsoon, but we somehow manage to survive. On Tuesday, the water crossed the wall and started flowing on our houses. Subsequently, the wall collapsed, sweeping away people,” Chandrakala Jadhav, a resident from the slum who lost two from her family in the incident, said.
Dhanashree Bharadkar, local NCP corporator from the area, said that the wall was built in 2016.
“It should have been built in a way that it didn’t block drainage,” she said.
The state government has ordered a probe and the BMC will conduct another investigation under a special engineer to ascertain the cause.
The BMC said that the hutments were illegal.
“The land around the area is forest land, and illegal hutments settled on it. The wall fell on these hutments in the middle of the night when everyone was asleep, and hence the number of casualties is high,” said additional municipal commissioner Ashwini Joshi.
Residents alleged the wall collapsed at 12.30am and the rescue operations started at 2am. Many were found injured or dead at the spot and were rushed to nearby hospitals, including Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Centre at Jogeshwari, Shatabdi Hospital in Kandivli and other private hospitals.