Two killed, one injured as Dombivli building crashes during eviction

KALYAN: A 70-year-old retired bank employee and a 58-yearold man died, while the latter’s wife suffered multiple injuries after a portion of a ground-plus three-storey ‘dilapidated and dangerous’ building collapsed in Dombivli on Friday evening even as civic officials were forcibly evicting the residents. Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) officials were evicting the 50-odd residents still staying in the 40-year-old Adi Narayan building after a cement plaster collapse on Thursday.
KDMC had declared the building ‘dangerous’ and served multiple notices to the 40 families, said civic officials. On Friday, around 7am, the building owner, Eknath Patil, who lives on the first floor, noticed big cracks and informed Appu Kharat, in-charge of maintenance. “I was shocked to see the huge cracks and urged Patil to vacate the building,” Kharat told TOI. Patil alerted the Gward office and a team, led by assistant municipal commissioner Sonam Deshmukh, arrived at 10am and asked all residents to move out. As they ignored the plea, the KDMC team arrived again at 4pm and started evicting them. Around 5pm, most of the 50 residents had been shifted, except Sunil Lodhya (58), his wife Dipti (54) and Arvind Bhavsar (70), when a portion of the building crashed.
Three huts in a slum adjoining the building were also damaged. Fire brigade, Thane Disaster Rescue Force, KDMC commissioner Bhausaheb Dangade and other senior civic officials rushed to the spot. Three hours after the crash, Sunil was pulled out from under the debris and taken to Shastri Nagar Hospital where he died during treatment. Dipti was rescued a few hours later. As she suffered multiple injuries, she was admitted in the ICU at Mamta Hospital. Bhavsar was pulled out of the rubble around midnight. He was taken to Shastri Nagar Hospital where he was declared dead. Dangade said, “The building had been tagged dangerous and served multiple notices. When our team learnt about the cracks, they evicted most of the residents, thus saving their lives.” Kalyan Lok Sabha MP Shrikant Shinde also sent a private rescue team. Kalyan gramin assembly MLA Pramod (Raju) Patil, who visited the spot, said the government should implement a cluster policy to redevelop dangerous buildings.

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