Tragedy in Mumbai: 8 Dead, Many Injured as Giant Hoarding Collapses Amid Dust Storm

Tragedy in Mumbai: 8 Dead, Many Injured as Giant Hoarding Collapses Amid Dust Storm

Eight killed, dozens injured as hoarding collapses in Mumbai amid rain and gusty winds. NDRF team joins rescue operation.

At least eight people died and dozens were injured after a towering hoarding advertised alongside a petrol pump in Mumbai collapsed amid rain and gutsy winds. The incident occurred at around 4.30 pm near Chheda Nagar Gymkhana in the Ghatkopar area when the weather in the city suddenly changed with dust storm and rain.

Over 100 people were initially trapped after the 100-foot-tall illegal billboard fell on the petrol pump, triggering a search and rescue operation. An NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) team joined the rescue operation, said Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Bhushan Gagrani.

Gagrani told HT that the hoarding was illegal as the BMC had not given permission (for erecting it). “The hoarding that crashed in Ghatkopar was illegal as it did not have a licence. We will check licences of all hoardings in Mumbai and if they don’t have licences, they will be considered illegal.”

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said 57 individuals have been rescued and rushed to Rajawadi Hospital for urgent medical attention. “I have asked the municipal commissioner to conduct a special audit of all hoardings in Mumbai and take action against those responsible for illegal hoardings,” Shinde said.

The chief minister also announced initial compensation of ₹5 lakh for the kin of the deceased. The government will also bear the treatment cost of the injured, he added.

Gangrani earlier told media persons that cranes and (gas) cutters reached the spot for rescue operation. “The location where the incident occurred has four hoardings set up on the railway land and one of them has collapsed. The BMC had been objecting to (setting up) hoardings for one year,” the civic chief said.

The Central Railway, however, said that the hoarding was not on Railway land and not in any way related to Indian Railways. An official said the civic body doesn’t permit any hoarding measuring above 40 x 40 feet.

He said the Mumbai civic body lodged an FIR on May 19, 2023, in connection with the poisoning of eight trees at the location near Chheda Nagar junction to increase the visibility of the concerned hoarding. “We had repeatedly raised the issue for action,” he claimed and added that the Licence Department of the BMC had also issued a notice.

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