8 dead, 60 injured after billboard collapses in Mumbai after dust storm

The number of casualties is expected to rise further

Update: 2024-05-13 16:10 GMT
Emergency services personnel at the spot after a huge iron hoarding collapsed on a petrol pump due to strong winds and heavy rain, at Ghatkopar in Mumbai, Monday, May 13, 2024. At least 35 people suffered injuries, according to officials. (PTI Photo)

Mumbai: At least eight people died and 60 others were injured after a huge billboard collapsed in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar following heavy rains, a dust storm and gusty winds on Monday. The number of casualties is expected to rise further.

According to the BMC officials, a towering 120x120 hoarding near a petrol pump in Chheda Nagar, Ghatkopar, came crashing down trapping nearly 100 people beneath it. The incident occurred around 4.30 pm amid a fierce dust storm and heavy rainfall.

The billboard, located near the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) collapsed on a petrol pump. The structure damaged the scaffolding of the petrol pump along with a few vehicles that were parked at the pump. However, the petrol dispensing units were not affected.

In the mishap, 54 people sustained injuries as 12 fire engines and two cranes were deployed for rescue operations. A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team was also mobilised at the site of the collapse to aid in the rescue operation.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who visited the site, has ordered a high-level inquiry into the mishap and also announced an aid of Rs five lakh to the kin of the deceased from the CM Relief Fund. “We have directed the BMC to conduct a structural audit of all hoardings in Mumbai. It has also been ordered to take action against unauthorised hoardings,” he said.

In another incident, a scaffolding collapsed at Barkat Ali Naka, Wadala, on several vehicles parked on the roadside trapping one person inside a car.

Mumbaikars were caught off guard by the dust storm followed by gusty winds and unseasonal heavy rains on Monday evening. The sudden change in weather brought traffic to a standstill as commuters took shelter during the storm.

The local train service, which is said to be the lifeline of the country’s financial capital, was adversely affected by the first showers. Election rallies were also cancelled due to unseasonal rain. Traffic on roads moved slowly while water-logging was also reported at some places.

Take-offs and landing operations were suspended at Mumbai airport. The airport authority in an update said the operations resumed at 5:03 pm and it witnessed 15 flight diversions during the storm. “Due to the inclement weather and dust storms in the city, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) temporarily suspended flight operations for around 66 min due to low visibility and gusty winds. Operations resumed at 17:03 hrs,” the Airport statement said.


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