Massive Billboard Toppled In Storm In Mumbai–At Least 14 Dead.

Photo by Garrett Butler on Unsplash A massive billboard collapsed onto a gas station in Mumbai, India, killing 14 people.
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At least 14 people have been killed and dozens of others injured after a gigantic billboard fell on them during a dust storm in India’s financial capital Mumbai, according to local authorities.

The billboard collapsed on some houses and a gas station next to a busy road in the eastern suburb of Ghatkopar following gusty winds and rain late on Monday.

NDTV reported that Mumbai was caught off guard by a strong dust storm crippling transport, uprooting trees and structures, and leading to power outage in many districts of the financial capital.

The sky turned dark when the dust storm hit the city, with people posting visuals on social media. Seven people were injured after a metal billboard crashed on them amid the strong dust storm in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar at 4.30 pm. Some people are feared trapped, reports said.

The billboard was opposite a petrol station. Visuals show the 30-meter high structure came crashing down right in the middle of the petrol station. The police said rescuers are at the site, and are looking for survivors trapped under the debris.

Many others were trapped following the incident, with rescue operations continuing till early Tuesday. Mumbai’s municipal corporation said 74 people were taken to hospital with injuries following the accident, of which 31 were discharged.

The Press Trust of India news agency, quoting police officials, reported the billboard was installed illegally.

On Monday night, Devendra Fadnavis, the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra state, said a high-level inquiry had been ordered into the incident and strict action would be taken against those responsible.

A “high-level inquiry has been ordered into the incident”, Fadnavis said in a post on X.

Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, was hit by strong winds accompanied by rain and dust storms that uprooted trees and caused brief power outages in parts of the city, along with disruptions to the city’s train network.

The thunderstorm brought traffic to a standstill in parts of the city and disrupted operations at its airport, one of the country’s busiest, with at least 15 flights diverted.

India records heavy rains and severe floods during the monsoon season between June and September, which brings most of its annual rainfall. The rain is crucial for agriculture but often causes extensive damage.

Sources: Al Jazeera, news agencies, NDTV.

 

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