14 killed, 70 hurt as mega hoarding falls on Mumbai pump in dust storm | India News

MUMBAI: At least 14 people were killed and close to 70 others injured after a 250-tonne illegal advertisement hoarding crashed on a petrol pump at Mumbai’s Ghatkopar after a sudden dust storm and rain coupled with winds of up to 60kmph — which IMD said were just pre-monsoon activity — crippled life across the city on Monday evening.
At the time of going to press, officials claimed that more people were trapped under the hoarding and were being rescued.There were about 150 vehicles at the petrol pump at the time of the crash, including bikes that had sought shelter from the sudden rain.
Zonal DCP Purushottam Karad said a case has been registered for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and causing grievous hurt, among other sections of the IPC. Sources said Bhavesh Bhinde, director of advertising agency Ego Media Pvt Ltd, which had erected the hoarding, is among those who have been booked.
A 23-year-old man and two men in their 40s were among the Ghatkopar crash victims. Most survivors had blunt trauma, and fractures in the arm, shoulder and back, said chief medical officer Bharati Rajulwala of Rajawadi Hospital. She said those requiring surgery would be moved to Sion and KEM hospitals.
The weather and the accidents left destruction in their wake elsewhere too: there were stampede-like situations at Dadar and Wadala stations, Harbour and Western Railway services were delayed, leading to massive traffic bottlenecks; tree collapses were reported; 15 Mumbai-bound flights were diverted, and there were intermittent power cuts and disruption in water supply in several parts of the city. The mayhem also caused political disruptions, with campaign rallies and roadshows for LS polls either cancelled or truncated.
(Inputs from Swati Deshpande, Sanjeev Devasia, Manthan Mehta, Sumitra Deb Roy, Nitasha Natu, Clara Lewis & Mateen Hafeez)

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