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Death toll from Mumbai billboard collapse up to 16

NEW DELHI (XINHUA) – The death toll from a huge iron billboard collapse in India’s financial centre Mumbai has risen to 16 with the discovery of two additional bodies, local media reports quoting civic body officials said Wednesday. The bodies were found beneath the rubble at the collapse site during the continuous search and rescue efforts that have been going on for over 40 hours.

The huge billboard collapsed on Monday evening amid gusty winds and rains in Ghatkopar area of the city. Many people were trapped under the 100-foot tall billboard that crashed on a petrol pump at the Chedda Nagar junction, trapping vehicles and people.

Earlier, rescue teams retrieved 14 bodies from the site and 75 others were reported injured. The local government has initiated an investigation to determine who authorised the installation of the huge billboard. In the meantime, the police said the owner of the advertising agency responsible for erecting the billboard is currently evading authorities.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel and rescue workers inspect the site after an advertisement billboard collapsed at a petrol station following a storm, in Mumbai, India. PHOTO: AFP