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3 Dead, 59 Injured After Huge Billboard Falls During Mumbai Dust Storm

A huge billboard crashed on a petrol station in Mumbai amid a dust storm

New Delhi:

Dozens of people are feared trapped under the debris of a massive billboard that collapsed on a fuel station amid a strong dust storm in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar this evening. Police said three people were killed and 59 were injured.

The billboard was opposite the fuel station. Visuals show the structure crashing down right in the middle of the refuelling facility.

The metal frame of the billboard tore through the roof of several cars that were at the fuel station.

The police said teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are at the site, and are looking for survivors trapped under the debris.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a post on X said the state government has ordered an investigation into the incident.

Mumbai was caught off guard by the strong dust storm, which crippled transport, uprooted trees and structures, and led to power outage in many districts of the financial capital. The sky turned dark when the dust storm hit the city, with people posting visuals on social media.

Local trains, a section of the metro network, and airport services were temporarily stopped amid a darkening sky.

“Due to the inclement weather and dust storms in the city, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) temporarily suspended flight operations for around 66 minutes due to low visibility and gusty winds,” Mumbai airport said in a statement.

“Operations resumed at 17:03 hours. During this time, the airport saw 15 diversions. CSMIA last week completed its pre-monsoon runway maintenance successfully, ensuring safe and smooth aircraft operations. Committed to efficiency and passenger safety, the airport remains steadfast to prioritise seamless operations,” it said.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) Mumbai issued a “nowcast warning” forecasting a thunderstorm accompanied by lightning and moderate to intense rain for Thane, Palghar, and Mumbai.

The metro did not run between Aarey and Andheri East after a billboard landed on the overheard wire. Suburban trains were affected after an overhead equipment pole between Thane and Mulund got bent due to the strong winds.

The suburban services on the main line have been stopped, the chief spokesperson of Central Railway said.

The unseasonal rain brought some respite from the scorching heat, but power outage in Thane’s Kalwa and some other areas led to more trouble for residents.

The dust storm also uprooted trees in some areas across the city. The satellite towns of Thane, Ambernath, Badlapur, Kalyan and Ulhasnagar received moderate rain.

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