Catastrophe Unfolds

In a tragic incident that shook Mumbai to its core, a towering billboard measuring 100 feet collapsed during a fierce storm on Monday evening, claiming the lives of fourteen individuals and leaving over 70 injured. Situated opposite a fuel station in the Ghatkopar area, the billboard crumbled under the relentless force of the storm, crashing down directly onto the station below, as captured by chilling CCTV footage.

Swift Response

As the city grappled with the aftermath of the calamity, a search and rescue mission swung into action. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), in collaboration with the Mumbai Fire Brigade and other agencies, mobilized two teams to aid in the rescue efforts. The collapsed hoarding was attributed to Ego Media, erected on a plot leased to the Police Welfare Corporation by the Maharashtra government’s Police Housing Division. Despite Ego Media securing permission for all four hoardings, including the ill-fated one, from the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Railways), no clearance was obtained from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) prior to installation. Consequently, the BMC issued a stern notice to the Railway Police’s ACP and the Railway Commissioner, urging the annulment of permissions granted by the Railways and the immediate removal of all hoardings.

Legal Oversight

The storm that wreaked havoc across Mumbai caught residents off guard, enveloping the metropolis in darkness. Social media platforms became a platform for sharing firsthand accounts of the chaos unfolding on the city’s streets. Transportation networks bore the brunt of the storm’s fury, with local trains and airport services grinding to a halt. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) was compelled to suspend flight operations temporarily due to low visibility and gusty winds.

Storm Chaos

Urgent warnings issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasted thunderstorms, lightning, and heavy rainfall for Mumbai and its environs. While the unseasonal rain provided some relief from the sweltering heat, power outages in various districts exacerbated the situation for residents. Reports of uprooted trees and structural damage poured in from satellite towns like Thane, Ambernath, Badlapur, Kalyan, and Ulhasnagar.

IMD Warnings

In the wake of the tragedy, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde visited the site of the collapse, vowing to conduct a comprehensive structural audit of all hoardings in the city. “The government will not hesitate to remove any hoardings deemed illegal or hazardous,” he affirmed. Additionally, he announced financial assistance of ₹5 lakh to the families of each victim.

As Mumbai mourns the loss of lives and grapples with the aftermath of the devastating storm, questions loom over the regulatory oversight surrounding such structures and the need for stringent safety measures to prevent similar tragedies in the future.\

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Aanya Kapoor, a seasoned editor at Atom News, brings a wealth of experience in journalism and a keen eye for compelling stories. With a background in investigative reporting, Aanya Kapoor is dedicated to delivering news that resonates with our diverse readership.