At least 12 people have died and while several are still missing after a 5-storey residential building collapsed in Maharashtra's Raigad district on Monday evening. The rescue operation has been going on for more than 24 hours. In the last two hours, 7 bodies were found under the debris, officials said. More than 80 people have been rescued since yesterday. The incident was reported in the Kajalpura area.
Teams of the NDRF, Raigad Police, Fire Brigade and other NGOs were involved in the rescue work assisted by a dog squad to sniff out the victims trapped underneath. Among those rescued so far was a 5-year-old child.
On Tuesday afternoon, the rescue teams of the NDRF, SDRF, Raigad Police and Fire Brigade achieved a miraculous task, digging out a 5-year old boy alive from the debris after 18 hours.
The boy, identified as Mohammed N. Bangi, appeared shocked and shaken but had sustained only minor injuries. He was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Rescue operations continued in full swing for the second day in the huge mound of rubble of Tarique Garden.
Visiting the site, Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde ordered a thorough probe into the incident and the district authorities have identified at least six persons who are being booked for the tragedy. They include the builder, the architect, the RCC consultant, the contractor, the then CEO of the civic body and the chief engineer.
A team of Mahad Police has left for Mumbai to arrest the builder and contractor who constructed the building besides taking action against others involved in it.
The residential building -- Tarique Garden in Kajalpura area of the town -- with around 45 flats and over 100 residents, suddenly came crashing down on Monday around 6 p.m., in Mahad town, some 170 kms south of Mumbai.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "saddened" by the building crash and assured that the local authorities and the NDRF teams at the site are providing all possible assistance to the victims.
"My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their dear ones. I pray the injured recover soon," said Modi.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said he was disturbed by the Raigad building crash and sympathised with the families of the victims. "I appeal to the Maharashtra government to rush help to the victims and those trapped. Congress workers should also help in the rescue works," he tweeted on Tuesday.
(With inputs from IANS)