A Shiv Sena worker was today arrested in connection with the building collapse in suburban Ghatkopar which left 17 people dead. According to residents of the Siddhi-Sai Cooperative Housing Society, the pillars of the building got weakened due to renovation work of a nursing home on the ground floor owned by Shiv Sena worker Sunil Shitap, leading to the collapse yesterday.
Shitap has been booked under IPC sections 304 (II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others). Shitap, who was detained last night, was arrested after questioning, a senior police official said.
The death toll, meanwhile, today rose to 17 after five more bodies were pulled out from the rubble of the four-storey building during overnight search and rescue operations. "Our rescue team along with the fire brigade and NDRF jawans extricated 28 people from the debris, out which 17 people have been declared dead. Eleven injured have been admitted in the nearby Shantiniketan and Rajawadi hospitals," an official of the disaster management unit of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
Five bodies were pulled out during the night. Two firemen were injured in the rescue operation and shifted to a hospital, the official said. The search and rescue operations are still underway.
The city and its suburbs received heavy rains over the last several days, though there has been some respite since yesterday with downpour giving way to intermittent showers. The BMC has made temporary accommodation arrangements for the affected people in three nearby municipal schools, however, survivors preferred to stay at homes of their relatives.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the collapse site last night and said, "An offence has been registered and police are investigating. I have directed the commissioner of BMC to investigate and submit report within 15 days."