‘We heard people scream from under debris’, Bhiwandi locals tell civic body
With locals claiming they heard voices of some people from under the debris of a four-storey unnamed building in Piranipada in Bhiwandi, which collapsed on Saturday, killing two and injuring five, the Bhiwandi Nizampur City Municipal Corporation (BNCMC) again began a rescue operation around 1am on Sunday. The fire brigade team did not find anybody in the operation which went on till 4.50am
Saleem Ansari, 22, whose uncle and his family of seven lived in the building, said, “As I was helping my uncle and his family, around 11pm on Saturday, I heard a woman scream. Some people who were with me also heard multiple people screaming. We immediately informed the authorities. We feel more people may be trapped as many pass by the lanes near the building.”
Santosh Kadam, chief of regional disaster management cell, said, “We received a call from the BNCMC and with due permission from the Thane civic body chief, we sent our team to check.”
“Locals said they heard some voices. We did not want to take a chance and so inspected the area all over again,” said an officer of BNCMC.
Meanwhile, the Shantinagar police have registered a case against the builder, Munawar Ahmed Hussain, 39, and his 65-year-old mother, Saleemuneesa Ahmed Hussain Ansari, for culpable homicide and causing grievous hurt by an act endangering life.
Munawar was produced in a fast-track court on Saturday and has been remanded in police custody for three days.
“The building was built by Munawar’s father who is no more. He is now the owner of the structure. Investigation revealed it was built without any permission. The builder knew the structure was unsafe as sand and cement of poor quality were used for construction,” said Mamta D’souza, senior inspector, Shantinagar police station.
Many residents returned on Sunday to collect their belongings from the site, with
some even breaking down at the sight.
“Our savings, belongings are all crushed under the debris. The civic body has not even given us a temporary shelter,” said Mehboob Aalam Ansari, 33. Haseena Banu, 45, who was rescued in time with her six children, said, “We just ran out with some documents. I am looking for my belongings.”
“In this area, one flat is available for ₹8-10 lakh, which is why so many people flock here,” said Roshan Ali Ansari, 29, who lives in the area.
BNCMC commissioner Ashok Rankhamb said, “We will not clear the debris, as it is the builder’s responsibility. We are checking if he has built any more buildings in the area.”