Rescue operation called off; death toll at 16

Speaking to reporters, Gagrani said 16 people have died in the tragedy and the search and rescue operation is now complete at the site.

The civic chief said they have thoroughly checked the site to ensure that no more person is trapped there. Now, the work of clearing the debris will continue through the day, he said.

He said agencies like BMC, Mumbai police, BPCL, NDRF, Mumbai fire brigade, and Mahanagar Gas participated in the rescue operation and completed it “maintaining proper coordination”.

Also, action is being taken on a “war footing” to remove illegal hoardings in the metropolis, he said.

“There should be no hoardings (in the city) other than those meeting the specifications laid down for hoardings. So it is not a question of who owns them or whose place they are in,” Gagrani said.

Not just the size, but there are also specifications concerning the foundation, structural stability, and air movement and those must be followed, he said.

Gagrani said structural stability of hoardings is mandatory for the ones permitted by the BMC.

Similarly, the railways has been directed to follow the specifications and remove those hoardings that do not conform to the parameters, he said.

The illegal giant hoarding that collapsed in Ghatkopar stood on a piece of land in possession of the Government Railway Police (GRP), officials had said.

Railway authorities should submit the structural stability reports of hoardings to BMC, even if they do not require the civic body’s permission, Gagrani said.

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