Thane building crash death toll mounts to 20

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Thane (Maharashtra), Sep 22 (IANS) The overnight death toll in the building crash in Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi town shot up to 20 with seven more bodies recovered from the debris, officials said here on Tuesday.

The deceased include two infants, seven minors, seven men and four women, said an official of the Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation (BNMC).

Besides, another 25 persons have been rescued so far from the four-decade old Jilani building in the Patel Compound, Narpoli, which crashed around 3.45 a.m. on Monday morning.

Catching all the victims unaware as they slept in their homes, the local rescue teams and the NDRF along with a Dog Squad saved over two dozen lives, and at least 10 others injured were admitted to various hospitals.

Cracking the whip, the BNMC late on Monday suspended two civic officials — Sudham Jadhav and Dudhnath Yadav — in connection with the crash and the Narpoli Police has registered an offence against the builder Syed Ahmed Jilani, and others responsible for the tragedy.

Thane Guardian Minister and Urban Development Minister Eknath Sinde has ordered a probe into the lapses leading to the building crash and earlier announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh to the kin of the dead victims and free medical treatment to the injured.

Additionally, another 102 buildings in this minority-dominated powerloom township are declared as ‘dangerous’ and all the residents have been evacuated as a precaution, said the minister.

This is the second major building collapse in less than a month in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. An eight-year old five-storey building, Tarique Gardens, had crashed on August 24 in the Mahad town of Raigad, claiming 16 lives.

–IANS

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