Mumbai Hoarding Collapse: Chances Of Finding Survivors Slim, Says NDRF

The National Disaster Response Force, which is engaged in the search and rescue operation at the hoarding collapse site in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar, on Wednesday said the number of casualties going up in the tragedy cannot be ruled out as the chances of finding survivors are slim.

Two teams of the NDRF along with the fire brigade and police have been working relentlessly since the last two days to rescue the people trapped under the billboard that collapsed on a petrol pump in Chheda Nagar area of Ghatkopar on Monday evening due to gusty winds and unseasonal rains.

So far, the search and rescue teams have pulled out 89 persons from under the collapsed hoarding, of whom 14 were declared dead while 75 others were injured. Two more bodies have been located under the debris, but they are yet to be pulled out, officials said.

“Heavy machinery has been deployed for clearing and lifting the steel structure and girder of the billboard that collapsed on the petrol pump and a parking lot,” an NDRF official said.

“The probability of more casualties cannot be ruled out as the chances of finding people alive are slim,” he said.

Cutting and drilling equipment are not being used due to the presence of the petrol pump there. Also, fuel has leaked from damaged vehicles that were struck under the 120×120-feet billboard, he said.

On Wednesday morning, a small fire broke out at the incident site during the operation, but it was immediately doused by the fire tenders deployed there, another NDRF official earlier said.

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