5 killed, 17 injured in building collapse; enquiry ordered

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Mumbai, Dec 14 (UNI) Close on the heels of the Laxmi Chhaya building collapse in Borivali some time back, an under construction transit building caved in Shimpoli in the western suburbs of the metropolis killing five people and injuring 17 others this morning.

The injured were rushed to the local government hospital, where condition of four was stated to be critical.

According to the police, the building was originally a transit camp which was being reconstructed into a four-storeyed building. The victims were residing on the ground floor, police added.

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh reviewed the rescue and relief operations with authorities concerned and announced the compensation of Rs one lakh to the families of the deceased and Rs 10,000 to each of the injured.

Expressing sympathy for the affected people and their families, Mr Deshmukh instructed the authorities to ensure that the injured are treated properly.

Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak has, meanwhile, ordered thorough investigation into the incident and said guilty would be punished.

'' The guilty will not be spared as people were living on the ground floor of the building in spite of it being under construction,'' he said.

The deceased -- Mewalal Kanojia (37), Jahangir K (25), Chandan S K (30) and two others who could not be identified -- were living on the ground floor of the building whose other floors were under construction.

According to eye witnesses, the building collapsed because of massive construction and digging in the nearby Slum Rehabilitation Act (SRA) building by a developer.

After the collapse of the Laxmi Chhaya building, the corporation had decided to have an internal audit of all the old buildings in the city and carry out renovation work in the buildings after due permission from the corporation.

Some of the injured persons -- Santosh Mali (10), Basrul Shaikh (25), Lantu Shaikh (15) along with two unidentified persons -- are said to be in a critical condition.

The SRA department in the city is directly under the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and permissions are given to the developers by the Chief Minister's Office.


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