MUMBAI: A five-year-old boy was rescued on Tuesday (August 25) from the debris almost 19 hours after a five-storey building collapsed in Raigad district of Maharashtra, police said. The boy, identified as Mohammad Bangi, looking bewildered after the night-long ordeal, was taken by NDRF personnel to a waiting ambulance.

The NDRF officials and rescue team workers fear that the boy’s family members could be trapped inside the debris. 

The death toll in the case has jumped to five, whereas 10-12 people are still feared trapped inside the debris. 

A day after the building collapsed, rescue personnel continued to sift through the rubble in search of survivors, while police said 19 persons are still missing. An official at the Mantralaya State Control Room of the State Disaster Management Unit said the Tarek Garden building at Kajalpura in Mahad tehsil collapsed around 7 pm on Monday.

The building was constructed around 5-6 years ago and there were around 40 flats in the building. An official said that those rescued were shifted to a local hospital at Mahad, which is around 170 km from Mumbai.

Maharashtra Ministers Aditi Tatkare and Eknath Shinde had rushed to the spot on Monday evening to take stock of the rescue operations. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also spoke to the district officials and asked them to expedite the rescue and relief work, another official said. 

As the building began to collapse, around 70 people in the building ran out and managed to save their lives, the official said. “We also came to know that many families are not residing in the building as they went to their native places due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown,” she said.

Raigad District Superintendent of Police Anil Paraskar had told reporters that a man died of cardiac arrest on Monday night after he was hit by a stone from the falling building.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed his sadness at a building collapse in Raigad in Maharashtra and said local authorities and NDRF teams are providing all possible assistance at the site.

“Saddened by the building collapse in Mahad, Raigad in Maharashtra. 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,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted quoting PM Modi.

Three teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are at the spot for rescue operations. Canine squads have also been deployed at the scene of the collapse, an official said.


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