17 May 2024, 10:45

Mumbai billboard owner arrested after deadly collapse: reports

MUMBAI, May 17, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Indian police have arrested the owner of a
huge billboard that collapsed on a petrol station and killed 16 people in the
financial capital Mumbai, media reports said.

Another 75 people were rescued from underneath the wreckage of Monday's
accident when the giant hoarding fell during fierce rain and dust storms that
buffeted the coastal megacity.

Police opened a culpable homicide case against the billboard's owner Bhavesh
Bhinde who fled Mumbai in the aftermath of the collapse.

He was arrested late Thursday in the tourist city of Udaipur, around 800
kilometres (497 miles) to the north, police joint commissioner Lakhmi Gautam
told The Indian Express.

"Bhinde has been nabbed from Udaipur where he was staying in a hotel under
the name of his relative," Gautam told the newspaper.

"Our teams had been trying to track him down and eventually found him on
Thursday evening."

Police could not be reached for comment by AFP on Friday.

The storm that hit Mumbai on Monday uprooted trees, caused brief power
outages in various neighbourhoods around the city and disrupted the city's
train network.

Mumbai's international airport also temporarily grounded flights with at
least 15 planes diverted.

Eknath Shinde, the chief minister of Maharashtra state, earlier this week
ordered an audit of all billboards in Mumbai to prevent any repeat of the
accident elsewhere.

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