Three killed as slabs of Pydhonie building come crashing down

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Three people were killed and one injured when slabs of a building in Pydhonie, Masjid Bunder, collapsed at 4.30 pm Friday. Khatija Mansion, the 70-year-old ground-plus six structure, was undergoing repairs.

Six fire engines, one rescue and house collapse van and three ambulances reached the site a little after 5 pm and started rescue. The area was cordoned off and at the time of going to press rescue operations continued.

The slabs of second and third floors collapsed on a tea shop and eatery called Noorani Hotel on ground floor, trapping several people under the debris. The victims are feared to be employees of the eatery.

The fire brigade said debris from the repair work was being dumped on the second and third floors, the building was dilapidated and could not support the weight.

Dean T P Lahane said Imtiyaz Siddique (25), Puran Mahato (26) and Rafique were brought dead to JJ Hospital, while Mohammed Shaikh, 51-year-old owner of Noorani Hotel was admitted with severe head injuries. Eyewitnesses and shopkeepers in the vicinity said an employee of Noorani Hotel was missing.

"Nobody stayed in the old building. In August last year a small portion of the building had crumbled injuring wife and son of the landlord," said MLA Amin Patel, MLA of the area.

The building was vacated after the accident.

MHADA, which maintains old buildings in island city, had served a notice to all tenants to vacate the premises in January 2012.

"All tenants moved, but the eatery at the foot of the building. They should have also been made to shut shop a long time ago considering the building was dangerous," said corporator Javed Juneja.

Landlord Furkan Mohammed Farooque said following MHADA and fire brigade notices, he asked tenants several times to vacate the building. However, a few shops, including that of a tailor and Noorani Hotel, continued to operate.

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