Mumbai hoarding crash rescue operation ends after 60 hours; rubble clearance work underway

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 16, 2024 IST

MUMBAI

Mumbai, May 16 : Almost 60 hours after a gigantic hoarding crashed and killed 16 people, the authorities on Thursday called off the massive multi-agency rescue operation and started the work of clearing the debris in the tragedy site, officials said.

BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Bhushan Gagrani paid another visit to the spot and inspected the rescue work in the May 13 mishap that also left at least 88 people injured.

With the possibility of recovering any more victims, the rescue teams of NDRF, Mumbai Police, Mumbai Fire Brigade, BPCL and civic workers with their cranes, pocklains and JCBs stopped the operations.

Gagrani said that the work of removing the huge quantities of rubble in the area will be cleared up which would take more time.

Following a sudden dust-storm followed by rain and heavy wind, a massive billboard collapsed on a BPCL petrol pump and gas station, trapping over a hundred people.

The rescue teams exercised extreme caution without using equipment like gas cutters as there was an unspecified quantity of fuel stored in underground tanks at the petrol pump, hampering the operations.

Nearly four days after the billboard crash, the area still resembles a disaster zone with crushed cars, two-wheelers, the surrounding homes, broken parts of the massive hoarding measuring 120x120 feet, its metal girders, rods, etc.

The BMC has asked the Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) to remove all the illegal hoardings or those violating the size norms of 40x40 feet on a priority basis.

Officials said that the BMC has also started an audit of the 1,025 big and small hoarding, dotting the Mumbai skyline on various parameters like structural stability, capacity to withstand wind velocity, height from the ground, structures in the vicinity, etc. which is likely to be completed by the month-end.

Rattled by the Mumbai tragedy, the twin cities of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have also started an independent survey of all the hoardings erected in their respective jurisdictions as a precautionary measure and several irregularities are coming to light. (IANS)

 

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