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Building collapse: Toll 17, Sena worker arrested

A Shiv Sena worker was on Wednesday arrested in connection with the building collapse in suburban Ghatkopar which left 17
people dead.
According to residents of the Siddhi-Sai Cooperative Housing Society, the pillars of the building got weakened due to renovation work of a nursing home on the ground floor owned by Shiv Sena worker Sunil Shitap, leading to the collapse yesterday.
Shitap has been booked under IPC sections 304 (II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others).
Shitap, who was detained last night, was arrested after questioning, a senior police official said.
The death toll, meanwhile, today rose to 17 after five more bodies were pulled out from the rubble of the four-storey building during overnight search and rescue operations.
"Our rescue team along with the fire brigade and NDRF jawans extricated 28 people from the debris, out which 17 people have been declared dead. Eleven injured have been admitted in the nearby Shantiniketan and Rajawadi hospitals," an official of the disaster management unit of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
Five bodies were pulled out during the night. Two firemen were injured in the rescue operation and shifted to a hospital, the official said.
The search and rescue operations are still underway.
The city and its suburbs received heavy rains over the last several days, though there has been some respite since yesterday with downpour giving way to intermittent showers.
The BMC has made temporary accommodation arrangements for the affected people in three nearby municipal schools, however, survivors preferred to stay at homes of their relatives.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the collapse site last night and said, "An offence has been registered and police are investigating. I have directed the commissioner of BMC to investigate and submit report within 15 days."
Fadnavis announced in the Legislative Council on Wednesday that the kin of those killed in Ghatkopar building collapse would be given an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each, .
The residential building collapsed last morning, killing 17 people.
Earlier in the day, the CM told the Assembly the kin of the deceased would be given an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each and those with permanent injuries Rs one lakh. He also said the medical expenses of the injured will be borne by the government.
He hiked the compensation amount in the Upper House.
Leader of Opposition in the Council Dhananjay Munde has sought a raise in the compensation amount. "We will see how we can provide an ex-gratia relief of Rs five lakh without making any changes in the standing order," Fadnavis said.
Replying to other suggestions made by the MLCs, Fadnavis said the government would consider constituting a special police force for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
"There are technical problems in setting up the special police force because even if it is meant for the BMC, the management, the appointments etc have to be done by the state. However, we will consider setting up a special police for the BMC if the technical issues can be resolved," he said.
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