At least one person died and 19 others went missing after a residential building collapsed in Maharashtra’s Raigad district on Monday, PTI reported. Raigad District Collector Nidhi Chaudhary, however, said that two people have died, according to ANI. Around 30 people are still trapped under the debris, multiple reports said.
Raigad District Superintendent of Police Anil Paraskar told PTI that the person died of a cardiac arrest. “This person was not a resident of the building, but was walking nearby when it collapsed and was hit by a stone from the falling debris,” Paraskar said. “He died of cardiac arrest.”
At least 15 people have been injured in the building collapse, Mumbai Mirror reported.
The National Disaster Response Force was called in on Monday to join the rescue operations. The force’s Director-General Satya Pradhan said that sniffer dogs were assisting rescuers with the operation. Nearly 60 people have been rescued from the building, according to NDTV.
The Tarek Garden building in Raigad’s Mahad tehsil area collapsed around 7 pm on Monday, an unidentified official from the State Disaster Management Unit said, according to PTI. The official added that there were about 40 flats in the building.
The police have filed a case against the building’s architect and contractor, NDTV reported. Maharashtra Minister Eknath Shinde told the news channel that strict action will be taken against government officials if they are found to be responsible for the building collapse.
Hospitals in Raigad’s neighbouring areas have been put on alert, The Indian Express reported. A medical camp is also being set up for the injured people.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday assured the district administration of all possible help. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, meanwhile, said that the building collapse was “very tragic” and added that he had personally spoken to NDRF director-general to expedite the rescue operation.
Maharashtra Minister Aditi Tatkare, who visited the site of the building collapse, said that a special investigation team must be formed to look into the accident, ANI reported.
‘Saddened’ by building collapse: PM Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed grief over the building collapse in Raigad and offered his condolences to the affected families.
“Saddened by the building collapse in Mahad, Raigad in Maharashtra,” Modi said in a tweet. “My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their dear ones. I pray the injured recover soon. Local authorities and NDRF teams are at the site of the tragedy, providing all possible assistance.”
President Ram Nath Kovind said that the news of the building collapse was distressing. “My thoughts and prayers are with the accident victims,” he said. “I wish speedy recovery of the injured. Local authorities and NDRF teams are coordinating rescue and relief efforts.”
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said he was pained by the incident. “My condolences to the bereaved families & prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he said in a tweet. “Rescue efforts are underway, local authorities and NDRF teams present there are providing all possible assistance.”