Six people were killed on Thursday when a couple of houses
constructed illegally in Akshay Chawl at Mumbra in Thane district
came crashing down on shanties below.
The deceased include three women and
three children from same family.
An eight-month old baby-girl has
miraculously escaped unhurt in the incident.
The deceased are identified as Seema
and Amit - aged three and five respectively, and their mother Reema,
The collapse took the life of another five-year-old, Raj, and two
other residents, identified as Shanti Yadav and Kapil.
Firemen fear at least five persons are
still trapped under the debris, and the death toll could rise.
The chawl is located on the side of
Parsik Hill, and as was the case in other collapses, the entire area
is dotted with illegal structures and dilapidated buildings, slapped
with countless evacuation notices.
Thane Fire Brigade officer S Pardeshi said, “People got trapped
after two houses came crashing down. These were shanties which were
recently reconstructed into concrete houses.”
A resident, Rafique Shaikh, said, “Tremors around Thane and heavy
rains have caused the collapse. It’s a huge tragedy for the Patel
family, living in the chawl."
Rajesh Patel was at work and was saved, but his wife and two kids
died. Rajesh is just shattered.”
Thane Municipal Commissioner R A Rajeev said, “We have been crying
hoarse over illegal structures in the area. We again request people
to evacuate them to prevent further casualties.”
The incident occurred on August 19 at
around 04:30 in the afternoon barely two days after ten persons were
killed when a portion of a four-storeyed building in nearby Kalva
collapsed on August 17.
A day after the August 17 incident,
the civic body in Thane had said there were about 800
buildings in dilapidated condition posing danger to over 100,000
"There are some 800 buildings in our list of dilapidated structures.
It will take at least a day to assess the condition and strength of
one building and decide whether it is safe enough for people to
stay," Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) Deputy Municipal
Commissioner B.G. Pawar said.