One body was found and two people are still missing after a front portion of a building collapsed in Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai on Friday. The search operation to rescue the other two workers is still in progress.
A five-storeyed vacant building named Shimpi Chawl slab collapsed on Friday afternoon at 1.30pm situated at Zaveri Bazaar and was of the Maharashtra Housing Development Authority (MHADA). A passage on the fourth floor of the building at Shamseth Street had collapsed, bringing down the first, second and third-floor passages too.
"The residents were evacuated a long time ago from the structure, after which Mhada appointed a contractor to carry on the fix works", said Jivak Gadgemal, assistant municipal commissioner of "C" ward. "All of them vacated the building in September".
Firemen said while all those feared missing have been pulled out, "a fire engine and a rescue van are stationed at the spot as a precautionary measure since the authorities are demolishing the structure", said chief fire officer P Rahangdale.
MHADA officials said the building was a brick-walled, wooden, and partially steel-framed structure.
Mhada officials present at the spot said the building is said to be constructed before 1940. The disaster management cell confirmed that it's a level II call, late in the evening. Their bodies were extricated six and a half hours later by the fire brigade and taken to JJ Hospital, where they were declared dead.
Ishtayak Khan, the relative of a labourer trapped inside the building, said, "Neither the fire brigade nor the police had any equipment to clear the debris".