Advertising frame crushes eight people and injures 60 when it collapses in Mumbai

The first rains of the year were supposed to give a respite to Bombay, in its most suffocating month.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
13 May 2024 Monday 04:28
3 Reads
Advertising frame crushes eight people and injures 60 when it collapses in Mumbai

The first rains of the year were supposed to give a respite to Bombay, in its most suffocating month. However, this Monday they left apocalyptic scenes, when combined with a sand storm, with gusts of fifty kilometers per hour.

At least eight people have died and around sixty have been injured as a result of the collapse of a gigantic advertising frame on a gas station. Already at night, firefighters feared that the number of trapped people had not yet fallen below thirty at the scene of the accident, next to a busy road in the Ghatkopar neighborhood.

After several work sheets, the rescuers had managed to save about seventy people, from all conditions. Mumbai is one of the metropolises in the world with the largest number of billionaires and, at the same time, is home to the largest shanty town in Asia. Gas stations are among the few spaces briefly shared by all types of people, in a very segregated city. Hence, among the people trapped this Monday there were from a dozen very modest autorickshaw (motorized tricycles) drivers refueling - with or without clients - to owners of high-end cars - driven by their drivers - to passengers squeezed inside a bus. .

Corruption literally fell on all of them, at 4:30 in the afternoon, since the advertising framework in question, swept away by the gale, is clearly illegal, regardless of the fact that it was not properly anchored. The legal limit is just over 13 meters by 13 meters, but this occupied three times as much, no less than 1,337 square meters, visible from three kilometers away.

Invisible, however, for the metropolitan and state authorities of Maharashtra, which yesterday promised compensation for the families of the victims, an investigation and a harsh fine for the company responsible, of more than 600,000 euros. But at the same time, they threw balls out, saying that the gigantic panel was built on Indian Railways land, outside their jurisdiction. Something that the railway company has already denied.

The phenomenon, in reality, is at least ten years old, since an advertising framework of identical size, also in Bombay, entered the Limca Book of Records, the Indian equivalent of Guinness, in 2014. It so happens that the damaged frame was vacant and only advertised the company that rents this and many other panels in and around Bombay.

Due to the storm, the Bombay airport suspended operations for an hour and fifteen flights had to be diverted. The falling trees and the power drop also caused the cancellation of several trains.

The heavy rainfall comes when there are still three or four weeks left before the proper monsoon rains reach Mumbai. Meteorologists have announced that this year they will be more abundant than normal, so floods could also be above average, until September.

Below, the rescue operations under the advertising framework.

Finally, another scene of devastation in Wadala, another neighborhood of Bombay, where the storm has collapsed a multi-story metal structure.