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On Sunday, September 12, the slab of a 25-year-old four-storey residential building collapsed in Maharashtra‘s Thane city. In this incident, two people were killed and one person was injured.

This comes at a time when the city and its suburbs have been witnessing heavy rain spells since the beginning of September. This year, several incidents of building collapse were reported in the city and its suburbs.

According to the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) deputy commissioner Ashok Burpulle, the slab of a flat on the third floor of ‘C-wing’ of the Khatri Apartments, located in Rabodi area, came crashing down on its ground floor at around 6 am.

A team of local firemen, police and the TMC’s regional disaster management cell (RDMC) rushed to the spot soon after being alerted and pulled out three people from the debris, said the official.

As per reports, earlier the three injured persons were immediately taken to a local hospital. Unfortunately, two of them died while undergoing treatment.

An official from the TMC’s disaster control room said that the dead were identified as Rameez Shaikh (32) and Goss Tamboli (38).

The Rabodi-based housing complex collectively has 73 flats. Soon after the incident, occupants of all 24 houses in the C-wing were shifted to a safer place as a precautionary measure. Besides, the particular wing of the building was sealed following the incident. In addition, an audit of the structure would be conducted by engineers, said officials.

Meanwhile, the TMC, in a release issued in the evening, said occupants had been given repeated instructions to vacate the building, as it had been declared dangerous post an inspection in 2013, and notices were also issued, all of which were ignored.

The release said Rabodi police was asked to get the building vacated, while the water supply, electricity and drainage departments had been told to disconnect supply.

An audit had suggested immediate repairs and the TMC had given three reminders to the owners of the building to get it repaired, the release said, adding that some 85 per cent repair work had been completed while 15 per cent was pending.

However, Thane guardian minister Eknath Shinde, who visited the site later in the day, said cluster development of dangerous and dilapidated buildings was the only solution to such incidents. Shinde also mentioned that compensation would be given as per government norms to the kin of the deceased.

The only permanent solution to this problem of dilapidated and dangerous buildings is cluster development, which has been approved for Thane city, added the minister. He also stated that elected representatives, civic officials and residents must meet to finalise development works.

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