Raigad building collapse: Rescue operation called off; 16 dead, consultant arrested

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Updated: August 26, 2020 5:57 PM

The five-storey building - Tareq Garden- in Mahad town collapsed on Monday evening.

16 dead in Raigad building collapse.

With the recovery of two more bodies early on Wednesday, the death toll in the building collapse incident in Maharashtra’s Raigad district mounted to 16, officials said. The Raigad police on Wednesday arrested an RCC consultant of the building in connection with the incident. He is one of the five persons booked in the case, they said.

The five-storey building – Tareq Garden- in Mahad town, around 170 kms from Mumbai, collapsed on Monday evening. According to a police official, the rescue operation was called off around 11.30 am on Wednesday.

Fifteen persons died after being trapped under the rubble, but one person had died of a heart attack at a local hospital late on Monday night, hours after he was injured in the incident, he said. At least nine others, who suffered injuries in the incident, are undergoing treatment in a hospital, he said.

“The bodies of a 70-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman were recovered in the early hours of Wednesday. This took the death toll in the incident to 15,” Superintendent of Police, Raigad, Anil Paraskar told PTI.

Another official said that one person had died on Monday night due to heart attack after getting injured in the incident. “So the death toll in the incident is 16,” he said.

The teams comprising the personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and police, local disaster management team, trekkers and local residents, were involved in the rescue operation. Till late Tuesday night, bodies of 13 victims had been recovered from under the rubble.

On Tuesday, a four-year-old boy was pulled out alive from under the rubble 19 hours after the incident. A 60-year- old woman was also rescued 26 hours after the building collapse.

“Both of them are safe and undergoing treatment at hospital,” the official said. The dead include nine women, he added.

A Raigad police spokesperson said, “An RCC consultant of the five-storey building was apprehended from his residence early this morning. He has been identified as Bahubali Dhamane.” He was produced before a court in Mangaon, which remanded him in police custody till Sunday, the official said.

Besides Dhamane, the Mahad city police had on Tuesday registered an offence against builder Farooq Kazi, architect Gaurav Shah, civic body engineer Shashikant Dighe and chief officer of Mahad Municipal Council Dipak Zinzad under sections of 304, 304A, 337 and 338 of the IPC, he said.

“The builder, RCC consultant and architect were booked for poor quality of construction and the civic officials for issuing occupancy certificate,” he said, adding that a probe is underway.

Meanwhile, as the work of debris removal is on, the NDRF team is still camping at the site.

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