Mumbai: At least 21 people were killed and 78 injured after a compound wall of an educational institute collapsed on Tuesday after heavy rains in Malad area here, National Disaster Response Force officials said.
The incident happened around 2 am when the compound wall in Pimpripada of Malad East area collapsed and people living in shanties adjacent to the wall got trapped under the debris. NDRF officials said the deceased were people living in the slums.
"Our team of National Disaster Response Force along with sniffer dog reached the site of the incident immediately after receiving the information. Besides, a team of fire brigade and local police also reached the spot and took the control of the situation," a senior NDRF official said. He said that the police is investigating the case. "Rescue operations are underway and more details are awaited."
"The wall of Singhad Institute collapsed on the makeshift shelters of labourers," said a fire brigade official.
"The hutments were situated along the boundary wall of an under-construction site. Families of the labourers were staying in these makeshift shelters," a Bharti Vidyapeeth police station official said.
District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said prima facie it seemed that a tree fell on the college wall and then they collapsed on the shanties. He said an investigation was underway to ascertain to whom the under-construction site belonged.
The official added that a case of accidental death had been registered and probe was on to ascertain the ownership of the plot.
The incident comes a few days after a wall collapse in Kondhwa area in which 15 people, including four children, were killed.
Meanwhile, authorities have declared Tuesday as a public holiday in Mumbai as the Indian Meteorological Department has forecast heavy rains.
"In the wake of the extreme heavy rainfall forecast by the IMD, the Government of Maharashtra has declared a public holiday on July 2 as a precautionary measure for Mumbai city and its citizens," a civic official said.
The Central Railway has also decided to run local trains in limited corridors due to water logging in the railway tracks.