11 Die in Building Collapse: HC Raps BMC on ‘Illegal Structures’

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The Mumbai Police on Friday, 11 June, arrested the contractor and booked the owner of the three-storey residential building, which collapsed on another structure in Mumbai's Malad West on Wednesday, claiming the lives of at least 11 people, including eight minors, the youngest of whom was just one-and-a-half years old.

According to ANI, Ramzan Sheikh, the contractor, has now been sent to Police custody till 16 June.

The incident was reported around 11 pm at the New Collector compound on a day when the city received heavy rainfall with the onset of the monsoon. At least seven more people were injured.

Bombay HC Pulls Up BMC, Asks for Report By 24 June

Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court took suo motu cognisance of the building collapse.

While hearing the matter on Friday, the HC came down heavily on the BMC asking them and the state government why such building collapses happen every year in Mumbai, with innocents losing lives. The court also pulled up the BMC for "allowing such illegal structures" all over the city.

The court ordered a judicial enquiry in the matter and asked for a preliminary report to be submitted to the court by 24 June.

Addressing all the Mumbai Metropolitan Region municipal corporations, the court warned and said that one more instance of a building collapse and it will come down heavily on the corporations.

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Search and rescue operations by the police and the fire brigade are still underway, with some still feared trapped under the debris.

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, along with Aaditya Thackeray, BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal and Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, visited the hospital to meet those injured in the incident.

The Maharashtra government on Thursday also announced an ex gratia of Rs five lakh each for the kin of the deceased. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced an ex gratia of Rs two lakh and said in a tweet, “In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families.”

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Owner and Contractor Arrested

The Mumbai Police arrested Ramzan Sheikh, the contractor who constructed the building in Malvani, on Friday. The police have also booked building owner Rafeeq Siddiqui, charging him with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Earlier, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official had reportedly said that three persons were suspected to be still trapped.

The civic body said that residents from three nearby buildings had been evacuated as the structures were not in a good condition.

"“The building collapsed due to the rain. Rescue operation is underway. The injured have been shifted to the hospital. The debris of the buildings is being removed to see if more people are stuck under it.”" - Maharashtra Minister Aslam Shaikh, as quoted by ANI

The Mumbai Police had earlier said that a case under section 304 (2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) against the owner of the building and the contractor will be registered.

"They had recently made some structural changes after Cyclone Tauktae," Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Vishwas Nangre Patil was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Also Read: Two Women Fall Into Open Manhole as Heavy Rains Lash Mumbai

(With inputs from ANI and The Indian Express.)

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