Six people lost their lives and three were critically injured when a ground-plus three-storey building on Forus Road in Kamathipura collapsed on Saturday afternoon.Gulmohar Building, popularly known as Patharwala Building, was more than 100 years old and was undergoing repair by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) for the last four days.Of the six who died, four are from the same family. Dr. Nisha Bhushan, chief medical officer at Nair Hospital, said: “Two of the deceased were severely hurt while those hurt suffered minor injuries. All the deceased, except the lone woman, have been identified.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It fell before I could understand anything. I was hit by a huge debris on my hand,” said Jigri Ahmed Ali (28). Ali is now sitting in a wheelchair in the ICU of Nair Hospital, still in a state of shock.It was a residential building with a restaurant on the ground floor. Residents and officials said that each floor had big units of Zari embroidery and handbag workshops.”I was walking towards my shop on the opposite side. I saw men getting crushed. I was lucky I was saved,” said one of the survivors at Nair Hospital with hand injuries.Nazirul Shaikh, Minrul Shaikh and Sachin Shetty echoed those words. All three worked in the same building, but left for lunch separately, just before the building collapsed. “Almighty’s grace is upon me. I have no words,” Nazirul said.Eight fire engines and three ambulances were pressed into rescue operation, according to a fire brigade official. All victims were rushed to nearby state-run J J Hospital and BMC-run Nair Hospital.Mhada executive engineer Sanjay Jadhav said that the building was undergoing minor repair. “The building was a composite structure of load-bearing walls and wooden columns and staircases. We had propped the building about a month ago and had issued a work order on April 28. We will launch a probe into the incident,” he said.Fearing structural damage to the adjacent buildings, residents have been evacuated and will be shifted to a transit camp.Chief fire officer Pratap Rahangdale said that since the building was are very old, rescuers had to be cautious. Cameras with sensors were used to locate survivors. “No time was wasted. We planned strategically and started the search operation first in the suspected area and then the other sides. This helped us rescue victims faster,” claimed Rahangdale.The state government has announced a relief of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
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