At least 14 killed as billboard collapses in Mumbai during thunderstorm

At least 14 killed as billboard collapses in Mumbai during thunderstorm

The billboard collapsed on some houses and a petrol station next to a busy road in the eastern suburb of Ghatkopar following gusty winds and rain.

An aerial view shows a fallen billboard on a fuel station following a wind and dust storm in Mumbai [Prashant Waydande/Reuters]Published On 14 May 202414 May 2024

At least 14 people have been killed and dozens of others injured after a huge billboard fell on them during a thunderstorm in India’s financial capital Mumbai, according to local authorities.

The billboard collapsed on some houses and a petrol station next to a busy road in the eastern suburb of Ghatkopar following gusty winds and rain late on Monday.

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Many others were trapped following the incident, with rescue operations continuing till early Tuesday. Mumbai’s municipal corporation said 74 people were taken to hospital with injuries following the accident, of which 31 were discharged.

Rescuers look for victims under the billboard that collapsed in Mumbai [Rafiq Maqbool/AP]

The rains, accompanied by strong winds, caused the 30-metre-tall (100-foot) billboard located next to a busy road in the Chheda Nagar area of Ghatkopar to fall over a petrol station and some houses on Monday evening.

The Press Trust of India news agency, quoting police officials, reported the billboard was installed illegally.

On Monday night, Devendra Fadnavis, the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra state, said a high-level inquiry had been ordered into the incident and strict action would be taken against those responsible.

A “high-level inquiry has been ordered into the incident”, Fadnavis said in a post on X.

A resident reacts as she speaks on the phone during the rescue operation [Punit Paranjpe/AFP]

Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, was hit by strong winds accompanied by rain and dust storms that uprooted trees and caused brief power outages in parts of the city, along with disruptions to the city’s train network.

The thunderstorm brought traffic to a standstill in parts of the city and disrupted operations at its airport, one of the country’s busiest, with at least 15 flights diverted.

India records heavy rains and severe floods during the monsoon season between June and September, which brings most of its annual rainfall. The rain is crucial for agriculture but often causes extensive damage.

Source: News Agencies

 

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