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14 Die, Others Injured In Tragic India Billboard Collapse

Rescue crews in Mumbai, India’s financial epicentre, on Tuesday, deployed excavators to clear tangled metal debris in their desperate search for survivors trapped beneath a collapsed billboard.

The tragic incident claimed the lives of at least 14 individuals late Monday.

According to Reuters, the billboard, bigger than an Olympic-sized swimming pool, crushed a fuel station, homes and cars during a thunderstorm late Monday, trapping more than 100 people, according to authorities.

Rescuers worked through the night to pull people from the debris on the side of a busy arterial road in the Mumbai suburb of Ghatkopar.

Some 75 wounded were rescued and 14 bodies found, the city’s civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, said.

“The operation was very challenging due to the weight of the structure and the presence of flammable liquid and gas at the site,” Mohsen Shahedi, a senior National Disaster Response Force officer, told the agency.

Shahedi said the rescue operation was nearly over except for one last sweeping search.

“We believe there is no one else stuck under the debris,” he said.

Videos captured the towering billboard swaying in the wind before succumbing to a dust storm and rainfall, which besieged the city. The chaos brought traffic to a halt and caused flight disruptions at Mumbai airport.

BMC revealed that the agency responsible for the billboard lacked the necessary permit, as stated in their official announcement.

The billboard spanned approximately 1,338 square meters (14,400 square feet), a staggering nine times larger than the maximum allowable size.

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