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Ex Air Traffic Manager, Wife Killed In Mumbai Hoarding Collapse, Toll Rises To 16


Manoj Chansoria had retired as a general manager of Mumbai ATC in March.

A retired Air Traffic Control (ATC) manager and his wife were among the 16 people who died after a 250-tonne hoarding fell on Monday during a massive dust storm that hit Mumbai.

The bodies of retired ATC manager Manoj Chansoria, 60, and his wife Anita, 59, were pulled out on Wednesday night after the 100-foot hoarding collapsed on top of a petrol pump in east Mumbai. 

They were among the 100 others trapped under the debris after the massive hoarding fell on the petrol pump.

Mr Chansoria had retired as a general manager of Mumbai ATC in March, this year and the couple had moved to Jabalpur.

They were in Mumbai for a few days to complete visa formalities for Ms Chansoria, police said. After completing their work, the couple were heading back to Jabalpur and had stopped to refill petrol at the Ghatkopar pump when the storm hit, they added.

When calls to them went unanswered, their son, who lives in US, reached out to his friend in Mumbai for help. The friend lodged a missing complaint and the police tracked the couple’s mobile phones to determine their last known location was near the Ghatkopar petrol pump.

The couple’s friends and relatives reached the site hoping they would be rescued from the debris. 

So far, 16 people have died and 41 others have been injured in the tragic collapse. Out of those rescued, 34 have survived and were discharged after treatment from various Mumbai hospitals.

Search and rescue operations at the site of the collapse have been called off after all bodies were pulled from the debris.

While the Brihanmumbai Corporation does not allow hoardings larger than 40×40 feet, this hoarding was three times larger, spanning 120×120 feet and weighing 250 tonnes. Since the city is near the sea, high speed winds pose a risk to any such massive structure erected closer to the coastline. 

A case of culpable homicide has been filed against Bhavesh Bhinde, the owner of the advertising agency that erected the billboard. Bhinde has over 20 police cases filed against him, including one of rape.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has announced a compensation of ₹ 5 lakh to the families of the people who were killed in the tragedy and has also said that the government will bear the cost of treatment for those who were injured.

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