Mumbai building collapse: 17 dead, Shiv Sena leader Sunil Shitap arrested
Some residents said Shitap removed load-bearing pillars while renovating the ground floor.
Seventeen people died on Tuesday after a 35-year-old four-storey building in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar collapsed. More than 20 people were trapped under the rubble, and some still remain there, Hindustan Times reported. Among the victims were three-month-old Renuka Thak and one-and-a-half year old Krishu Dongre.
Shiv Sena leader Sunil Shitap was arrested by the Mumbai Police on charges of culpable homicide, reported NDTV. Shitap, who runs a maternity home on the ground floor, was carrying out massive renovation work during which he removed load-bearing pillars, The Times of India reported. However, Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar did not admit that Shitap was from the party. He said, “Appropriate action must be taken against the culprit, whoever he is.”
The building had three flats on each floor and a nursing home on the ground floor, which was vacant on Tuesday. Officials did not comment on what could have caused the building collapse. Civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will conduct an investigation. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who visited the site, has asked for the report in 15 days.
The city has had several building collapses in recent years, especially during the monsoon.