Mumbai (Thane): Three more bodies were retrieved from the rubble of the building that crashed here, and the toll in the incident has now risen to 10, including six children, a police official said.
The accident occurred around 2 a.m. Friday, when the 35-year-old Shakuntala building suddenly came crashing down, catching sleeping occupants unaware, Inspector N.D. Chavan of Thane police said.
At least 23 persons were rescued alive and another 14 are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in Mumbai, Kalwa and Thane, Chavan said.
Among the victims are two baby-girls - one two-month-old and the other four-month-old - besides four other minors.
Chavan said that by Friday evening, most victims had been rescued. He said clearing of rubble was still going on. There are no more victims feared trapped under the debris, he said.
Top district officials, including Mayor Harishchandra Patil, acting Municipal Commissioner Shyamsunder Patil, Thane District Collector P. Velrasu, Police Commissioner K.P. Raghuvanshi and others supervised the relief and rescue operations.
According to some independent reports, the occupants of the building were served an eviction notice some time ago by the civic authorities, but they ignored the warning.
Mumbra Mayor Harishchandra Patil said that the civic body will soon make arrangements to shift people from dilapidated and dangerous buildings to new rental houses.
"We are finalising the rent to be charged, which should be in the range of Rs.1,500 per month, so that occupants can be shifted out of dangerous buildings," Patil told reporters from the scene of the tragedy.
The child victims have been identified as: Mahek Punjabi (two months old), Hamja Shaikh (four months), Hasina Maqdoom Shaikh (3), Taslima Karim Shaikh (3), Shabbir Karim Shaikh (6) and Rohan Farooqui (7).
The adults who lost their lives are: Aliya Maqdoom Shaikh (22), Farid karim Shaikh (28), Karim Abdul Shaikh and Maqdoom Shaikh (both 32).
This is the second major building crash tragedy in the Mumbai metropolitan region in the past 10 days.
Last week (June 10), an old four-storeyed building collapsed at Mahim, central Mumbai, killing 10 and injuring another six.
Nearly three months ago, Thane's Mumbra district witnessed the state's worst-ever building crash, which left 75 dead and 60 injured.
The incident occurred April 4 at Shilphata, near this township, around 40 km north-east of Mumbai.