Raigad (Maharashtra), Aug 24 (IANS) Over 75 people are feared trapped under the rubble after a five-storied building collapsed in Mahad town of this coastal district on Monday evening, the police said.
At least 25 persons have been rescued so far.
Nearly 100 people lived in the residential building — Tarique Garden — situated in Kajalpura area of the town.
The building, which had around 45 flats, suddenly came crashing down, said an official from the Raigad Superintendent of Police headquarters, some 170 km south of Mumbai.
Relief and rescue teams besides specialised equipment have been rushed to spot to rescue those buried under the debris of the building.
The building, said to be around 6 years old, was constructed by two Mumbai-based realtors, and crashed around 6.05 pm, locals said.
Guardian Minister of Raigad, Aditi Tatkare said the building had more than 200 occupants, but many residents may have been outdoors or in markets in the evening.
The injured are being rushed to private hospitals since the main government hospital in town is a designated Covid-19 hospital, and if necessary, they may be shifted to Panvel or other nearby towns, she added.
In Mumbai, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar discussed the issue with Collector Nidhi Choudhari and Mahad Shiv Sena MLA Bharat M. Gogawale, and directed them to arrange for all help to the victims.
Mahad Municipal Council President Snehal Jadhav told local mediaperosns that there were no casualties till 9pm.
Raigad SP Anil Paraskar informed that besides local civic teams, police and fire brigade, at least 3 teams of NDRF are being moved to the site and other SDRF teams are also being sent from nearby cities.
Terming the incident as “very tragic”, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that he had spoken to the Director-General of NDRF to provide all assistance.
“The collapse of a building in Raigad, Maharashtra is very tragic. Have spoken to DG-NDRF HQ to provide all possible assistance, teams are on the way and will be assisting with the rescue operations as soon as possible. Praying for everyone’s safety,” Shah tweeted.
In Mumbai, Leader of Opposition (Council) Pravin Darekar, urged the Maharashtra government to carry out an audit of all old or dilapidated structures to avoid such tragedies.
Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis expressed shock over the tragedy and prayed for the safety of the people.
Meanwhile rescue operations remain in full swing with JCBs and cranes working under floodlights even as intermittent rains hampered the work.