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Hoarding crash: Search and rescue operations continue, toll likely to rise to 16

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NewsDrum Desk
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Mumbai, May 15 (PTI) Nearly 55 hours after a huge illegal hoarding crashed on a petrol pump in Ghatkopar area of Mumbai amid gusting winds and rain, search operations were still underway on Wednesday night and the death toll could rise to 16, officials said.

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So far, 89 persons have been pulled out from under the collapsed hoarding, of whom 14 were declared dead while 75 others were injured. Two more bodies have been located under the debris, but they were yet to be pulled out, officials said.

Of the 74 injured persons, 32 have been discharged from hospitals and 42 are still undergoing treatment.

Throughout the day, no person was rescued.

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"Two bodies have been located in a car trapped under the hoarding. Efforts are being made for retrieval of the victims," an NDRF official said.

A senior NDRF official told PTI that five interconnected girders of the hoarding were being cut into pieces one by one.

"Once the third girder is removed, we will be able to access the area which has been inaccessible so far," he said, adding that only after that they will be able to state how many more people are trapped underneath.

"These girders are so heavy that even cranes with 500 metric ton capacity failed to lift a single girder," he said.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in its release issued on Wednesday said due to the storage of flammable materials like fuel and gas at the petrol pump, the rescue teams have to be extra careful to avoid fire incidents. PTI KK DC GK KRK

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