Mumbai Hoarding Collapse: 14 Dead, Ad Agency Had No Civic Body Clearance.

The 100-foot billboard, located across from a fuel station, collapsed under the force of the storm, crashing down onto the fuel station below with alarming intensity.

Fourteen people were killed and over 70 injured when a massive billboard collapsed during a severe storm that struck Mumbai on Monday evening.

The 100-foot billboard, located across from a fuel station in the Ghatkopar area of Mumbai, fell down with alarming force due to the intensity of the storm, directly onto the fuel station below. CCTV footage from the area captured the metal structure tearing through the roofs of several cars before crashing onto the ground.

A search and rescue operation is currently underway. The NDRF has deployed two teams to assist, in collaboration with the Mumbai Fire Brigade and other involved agencies.

The hoarding that collapsed on Monday evening was installed by Ego Media on a plot leased to the Police Welfare Corporation by the Maharashtra government’s Police Housing Division. Ego Media had erected four hoardings on the premises, one of which collapsed.

Mumbai Police filed a case against the owner of Ego Media and others involved in the incident.

Although Ego Media had received permission from the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Railways) for all four hoardings, including the one that collapsed, they did not obtain authorization or a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the BMC before installation. Consequently, the BMC has issued a notice to the Railway Police’s ACP and the Railway Commissioner, demanding the cancellation of all permissions granted by the Railways and the removal of the hoardings.

Mumbai was hit by a sudden and powerful dust storm yesterday evening, plunging the metropolis into darkness. Residents took to social media to share accounts of the chaos that ensued.

The storm severely disrupted transportation networks, causing local trains and airport services to come to a standstill. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) was forced to temporarily suspend flight operations due to low visibility and strong winds.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued urgent warnings, predicting thunderstorms accompanied by lightning and heavy rainfall for Mumbai and its surrounding areas.

While the unexpected rain provided some relief from the sweltering heat, power outages in various districts, including Kalwa in Thane, added to the difficulties faced by residents already grappling with the aftermath of the storm. Reports of uprooted trees and structural damage also came in from satellite towns such as Thane, Ambernath, Badlapur, Kalyan, and Ulhasnagar.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde visited the site of the collapse and assured that his government would conduct a structural audit of all hoardings in the city.

“It is a very unfortunate incident,” he said. “The government will investigate, and those responsible will face consequences. I have instructed the BMC commissioner to conduct a structural audit of all the hoardings in the city. Any found to be illegal and dangerous will be removed immediately.”

The Chief Minister also announced compensation of ₹ 5 lakh for the families of each person killed in the hoarding collapse.

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