New Delhi: At least 22 people have died so far after a three-storey building collapsed in Bhiwandi area of Thane, Maharashtra. More than nine bodies have been recovered overnight and in daytime on Tuesday. However, at least 25 people were rescued, with over five persons being pulled out from the debris, police said. Also Read - Maharashtra Extends Lockdown Till Nov 30, Shutdown to Continue in Containment Zones

Notably, two more buildings located in its vicinity have been vacated by the Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Corporation (BNMC) on Monday night after being declared dangerous to live earlier by the civic body. Also Read - Pune Authorities Fear Second Wave of COVID-19 Infection in December, Say Prepared to Deal With it

The ill-fated Jilani building located at Narpoli’s Patel Compound near Dhamankar Nakain of the powerloom town, around 10 km from Thane, had 40 flats and around 150 persons lived there, an official told PTI. Also Read - Man-eater Tiger That Killed Eight People Captured in Maharashtra's Chandrapur District

Most residents of the building were tenants and included autorickshaw drivers, vendors and labourers, a building resident said.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and personnel of the Thane Disaster Response Force (TDRF) are still at the spot as the search and rescue operation continues.

The official said that the building was not in the list of dilapidated structures of the Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation (BNMC). However, it was served two notices, one in 2019 and another in February, over alleged irregularities, but the residents did not leave as the rent was very low.

Bhiwandi DCP Rajkumar Shinde said offences under sections 337,338,304 (2)of the IPC were registered against the owner of building Sayyed Ahmed Jilani after a complaint by civic officials. Jilani is yet to be arrested, while two other senior officials have been suspended in connection with the collapse.

An inquiry committee has also been set up and will include the assistant town planner, the official said.