Thane (Maharashtra), April 5 (IANS) Rescue efforts in the Shil Phata area of Thane district continued Friday with rescuers so far recovering 34 bodies from under the debris of an unauthorised seven-storey building that collapsed. Another 57 people bearing injuries, mostly critical, were rescued after the Thursday evening collapse.
“The death toll has shot up to 34, while 57 people have been injured… and many of them are in critical condition. Of the dozens brought to hospitals last (Thursday) night, 17 have been discharged,” a Thane disaster management official told IANS.
Rescuers Friday morning extricated five minors alive but injured with hundreds of onlookers cheering the rescue effort. The survival of the children was seen as something of a miracle as they were rescued nearly 12 hours after the building collapsed 6.30 p.m. Thursday.
Police have lodged cases against the developers of the seven-storey building, Salil Jamadar and Khalil Jamadar, who are reported to be absconding along with their families.
Officials said the building was raised within four months and had been functional since December.
As a precautionary measure, another adjacent building, also developed by the Jamadars, was evacuated Thursday night.
Top police, fire brigade, civic and disaster management officials were present at the scene of the tragedy as relief operations continued Friday.
Municipal Commissioner R.A. Rajeev and District Collector P. Velarasu were supervising relief operations.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar were likely to visit the collapse site Friday.