Mumbai Hoarding Collapse: Death Toll Rises To 14, Police Case Against Ad Agency; Check Details

(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) As many as 14 people have lost their lives and leaving over 70 injured after Mumbai was rocked by a devastating incident Monday evening as a massive billboard, standing tall at 100 feet, collapsed during a fierce storm.

The billboard, located opposite a fuel station in the Ghatkopar area, was no match for the storm, plummeting down with terrifying force onto the fuel station below. CCTV footage from the scene captured the horrifying moment as the metal structure tore through car roofs before crashing to the ground.

4 dead, over 60 injured as billboard collapses in Mumbai's Ghatkopar; rescue underway

Currently, a search and rescue operation is underway, with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) deploying two teams to assist alongside the Mumbai Fire Brigade and other emergency responders.

The billboard was erected by Ego Media on a plot leased to the Police Welfare Corporation by the Maharashtra government's Police Housing Division. Despite obtaining permission for all four hoardings, including the collapsed one, from the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Railways), Ego Media failed to secure authorisation or a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the BMC before installation.

Consequently, Mumbai Police have filed a case against the owner of Ego Media and other individuals linked to the incident.

The BMC has swiftly responded by issuing a notice to the Railway Police's ACP and the Railway Commissioner, demanding the cancellation of all permissions granted by the Railways and the removal of the hoardings.

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On Monday evening, Mumbai was engulfed by a sudden and intense dust storm, plunging the city into darkness. Social media was flooded with eyewitness accounts of the chaos unfolding across the metropolis.

The storm wreaked havoc on transportation networks, forcing local trains and airport services to grind to a halt. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) was compelled to suspend flight operations temporarily due to low visibility and strong winds.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued urgent warnings of thunderstorms accompanied by lightning and heavy rainfall for Mumbai and surrounding areas.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde visited the site of the tragedy and pledged to conduct a comprehensive structural audit of all billboards in the city.

"It is a very unfortunate incident. The government will probe it, and the people responsible will face action. I have also asked the BMC commissioner to conduct a structural audit of all the billboards in the city. Those found illegal and dangerous will be removed," he said.

The Chief Minister announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of each victim of the billboard collapse, acknowledging the severity of the tragedy and the need for swift action.

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