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India: Billboard collapse kills 12, injures dozens in Mumbai

May 14, 2024

A billboard collapsed in India's financial capital Mumbai, killing at least 12 people amid thunderstorms and heavy rain.

Locals witness the damage at a petrol station after a giant billboard fell on it in Mumbai, India
Eight bodies had already been removed, while four more are still buried in the rubbleImage: Divyakant Solanki/EPA

Twelve people were killed and at least 60 injured after a billboard at a petrol station collapsed during a fierce storm in India's financial capital Mumbai, officials said Monday.

Eight bodies have already been removed from the wreckage, while four others are still buried in the rubble, according to Gaurav Chauhan, an inspector with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

"We have located them but we cannot remove them due to this petrol pump and the situation can be hazardous," he added.

Devendra Fadnavis, the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra state, said the injured were being treated at Rajawadi Hospital. A "high-level inquiry has been ordered into the incident," Fadnavis said on X, formerly Twitter.

An excavator dug through the wreckage as rescuers raced to find any survivors trapped under the collapsed billboard, which measured 70 by 50 meters (around 229 feet by 164 feet).

Torrential rain sweeps across northern India

Monsoon season begins in India

India experiences heavy rains and severe flooding during the monsoon season between June and September, which brings most of South Asia's annual rainfall.

The rains are crucial for rain-fed crops planted during the season, but often cause extensive damage.

Mumbai was hit Thursday by strong winds accompanied by rain and dust storms that uprooted trees, caused brief power outages in parts of the city and disrupted the city's train network.

Flights were temporarily suspended at the city's international airport and at least 15 planes were diverted, according to Indian media reports.

dh/jsi (AFP, AP)