Thane building toll touches 71

Last Updated: Sat, Apr 06, 2013 10:24 hrs

The death toll from the seven-storey building collapse on Thursday at Mumbai's Thane suburb touched 71 on Saturday as the tragedy continued to unfold with more bodies being taken out of the debris by the rescuers.

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.

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 Deputy Municipal Commissioner has been suspended amid nationwide shock and anger over the gross negligence and deaths, which included that off around 22 children.

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.

Chief Minister Chavan 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."

More from Sify: