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Raigad, August 25, 2020
The death toll in Monday's Tarique Garden building crash in Mahad town near here shot up to four with two more bodies being recovered from the rubble, police said on Tuesday.
Among those rescued so far was a five-year-old child.
According to Raigad Control Room official Meena Sanap, two more bodies have been found in the debris and efforts are on to rescue at least a dozen others still feared trapped underneath.
"Besides the four fatalities, there are a total eight injured and another 83 persons have been rescued," Sanap told IANS.
On Tuesday afternoon, the rescue teams of the NDRF, SDRF, Raigad Police and Fire Brigade achieved a miraculous feat, digging out a five-year-old boy alive from the debris after 18 hours.
The boy, identified as Mohammed N. Bangi, appeared shocked and shaken but had sustained only minor injuries. He was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Rescue operations continued in full swing for the second day in the huge mound of rubble of Tarique Garden.
Visiting the site, Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde ordered a thorough probe into the incident and the district authorities have identified at least six persons who are being booked for the tragedy. They include the builder, the architect, the RCC consultant, the contractor, the then CEO of the civic body and the chief engineer.
A team of Mahad Police has left for Mumbai to arrest the builder and contractor who constructed the building besides taking action against others involved in it.
Teams of the NDRF, Raigad Police, Fire Brigade and other NGOs were involved in the rescue work assisted by a dog squad to sniff out the victims trapped underneath.
The residential building -- Tarique Garden in Kajalpura area of the town -- with around 45 flats and over 100 residents, suddenly came crashing down on Monday around 6 p.m., in Mahad town, some 170 kms south of Mumbai.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "saddened" by the building crash and assured that the local authorities and the NDRF teams at the site are providing all possible assistance to the victims.
"My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their dear ones. I pray the injured recover soon," said Modi.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said he was disturbed by the Raigad building crash and sympathised with the families of the victims. "I appeal to the Maharashtra government to rush help to the victims and those trapped. Congress workers should also help in the rescue works," he tweeted on Tuesday.
The building, said to be a little more than six years old, was constructed by two Mumbai-based realtors.
"Stringent action will be taken against all those found guilty. We shall also carry out a structural audit of all old and dilapidated structures in the state to prevent recurrence of such tragedies," Shinde told mediapersons on Tuesday morning.