Thane building toll climbs to 72

Last Updated: Sat, Apr 06, 2013 09:04 hrs

The death toll in the seven-storey building collapse on Thursday at Mumbai's Thane suburb rose to 72 on Saturday, officials said.

Rescue workers on Saturday pulled out more bodies out of the debris of the building.

Officials said among the dead are several children- nine boys and 13 girls.

More than 60 people were reportedly injured while many were said to be still missing as rescue workers continued to cut through the mangled steel and concrete remains of the illegal building.

The seriously injured were shifted to JJ Hospital and Sion Hospital here.

Rescue workers have rescued a 65-year-old woman who was identified as Kutibi Shaikh on Friday night, officials said on Saturday.

Shaikh, who was trapped in the debris for nearly 30 hours, was admitted to CSM Hospital in Thane, an official said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has confirmed that the building was illegal and ordered an enquiry to determine why local officials did not spot the construction and stop it.

The seven-storey building had reportedly been constructed in just six weeks with poor materials and an eighth storey was under construction when the building caved on itself.

Homes, offices and shops had been set up within the building without an occupancy certificate, said officials, at a loss to explain how the building came up and was put up for occupancy.

The Chief Minister on Friday visited the site of the collapse even as rescue operation continued with the help of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

Some of the deceased men were workers at the construction site.

There was a pregnant woman, identified as Shakila Imran Siddiqui, among the deceased, said the police. The other bodies have not been identified so far.

Asked about the duration of rescue operation, Mumbai Deputy Chief Fire Officer P S Rahandale said: "This is going to be a prolonged rescue operation because there is a lot of debris over there. And apart from that, there are lives inside."

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