Thane: With death of an injured woman at Sion Hospital in Mumbai and recovery of a child's body from debris at the site, death toll in the building collapse at Shil Phata area in the district reached 74 on Saturday evening. (Agencies)
Meanwhile, eight people, including two builders, have been arrested in the case that has exposed thriving illegal construction business. Among the arrested is Deepak Chavan, Thane civic agency's deputy municipal commissioner in-charge of illegal construction, who was placed under suspension from service for allegedly ignoring the violations in the illegal building.
Assistant Municipal Commissioner Babasaheb Andale, NCP Corporator representing the ward, Hira Patil and Assistant Sub-Inspector of the local police station have also been arrested.
Police have registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the builders, who were on the run since the incident on Thursday. If convicted, they would get life sentence.
Rescue operations at Lucky Compound, where the fully occupied illegal structure stood near Shil Phata in Mumbra of Thane district adjoining Mumbai, were called off on Saturday afternoon, over 40 hours after the illegal structure crashed.
Alok Awasthi, Commandant of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), who was rushed from Pune soon after the collapse, too confirmed that rescue efforts had been abandoned as there was no likelihood of presence of any bodies or survivors.
"We have explored the area eight feet underneath the plinth and we are reasonably sure that there is nobody there," Awasthi, who led his team of 90 men who painstakingly rescued 62 people from the massive wreckage, said.
Describing the operation as "complicated", Awasthi said because it was a "sandwich collapse", with floor lying over floor, it was a daunting task to remove debris from each storey to look for survivors.
Civic authorities on Saturday pulled down some godowns in the vicinity and two more such illegal buildings which had come up near the ill-fated building at Shil Phata area in Mumbra township of Thane district that crashed on Thursday.
Thane: With death of an injured woman at Sion Hospital in Mumbai and recovery of a child's body from debris at the site, death toll in the building collapse at Shil Phata area in the district reached 74 on Saturday evening.