Zaveri Bazaar slab collapse: Toll rises to four, Mhada to raze Mumbai building
After the death toll in the Zaveri Bazaar slab collapse rose to four on Saturday, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development authority (Mhada) decided to raze the decades-old five-storey building. A passage on the fourth floor of the building at Shamseth Street had collapsed, bringing down the first, second and third-floor passages too. Three labourers pulled out from under the rubble were taken to JJ Hospital, where they were declared brought dead.
The fourth casualty was 50-year-old scrap dealer Barakat Ali, who was pulled out from under the debris around 4 am on Saturday after rescue operations continued overnight. He had come to a shop in the building with his son.
“As a preventive measure, two vehicles from the Mumbai fire brigade are stationed at the spot. We are now propping up the building by temporarily placing structures to support the slabs. We will later raze the entire structure,” said a Mhada official, who did not wish to be identified.
Five fire engines and ambulances had arrived at the spot on Friday. Fire brigade officials said rescue operations were delayed owing to congested lanes and the building’s narrow entrance. Locals said many illegal alterations had been made to the structure, which could have led to the collapse. However, Mhada officials said only a final report would help them ascertain the cause of the collapse.
Repairs had started in the first week of December. Of the 16 labourers inside the building when it collapsed, 12 had a lucky escape. Five labourers said they had asked the contractor to prop the building before initiating repairs.