Ghatkopar Billboard Collapse Toll Rises To 17, Mumbai Crime Branch Forms SIT

Ghatkopar Billboard Collapse Toll Rises To 17, Mumbai Crime Branch Forms SIT

The death toll in the Ghatkopar billboard collapse incident reached 17 after a person succumbed to his injuries. The deceased was identified as Raju Sonawane and was declared dead on Sunday at 11 pm.  The giant 120 X 120 feet hoarding collapsed last week on May 13 during gusty winds. 

Earlier, the death toll was reported to be at 16 after the rescuers pulled out two bodies from a car stuck underneath the structure. 

On Thursday, Bhavesh Bhinde, the director of Ego Media Private Limited, the company which had the contract for the hoarding that collapsed in Ghatkopar, was arrested in Rajasthan’s Udaipur. 

READ: Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse: Death Toll Rises to 16 As Rescuers Pull Out Two More Bodies

He was then brought to Mumbai after authorities traced his last location to Lonavla, where he eluded capture.

He had been earlier booked by the Mumbai Police in a rape case earlier this year, a report in The Indian Express said.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has enlisted the Veermata Jeejabai Technological Institute (VJTI) to conduct a thorough structural audit of the collapsed billboard.

The Mumbai Crime Branch on Wednesday said it has formed a Special Investigation Team to probe the incidet

ALSO READ: Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse: Mumbai Police Arrest Owner Behind Billboard After 16 Killed In Mishap

The SIT comprises six officers, said the Mumbai Crime Branch, adding that it has checked the residence of prime accused Bhavesh Bhinde and seized important documents from there. 

He has a total of 7 bank accounts in different banks. The Police are also investigating how Bhinde got the hoarding contract and how much he earned. SIT has also recorded statements of a few officials in the company of Bhavesh Bhinde, said the Mumbai Crime Branch.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has declared an ex gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh for the next of kin of the victims affected by the tragic incident.

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