14 Killed, 74 Injured After Billboard Collapse

A huge billboard collapsed atop a group of pedestrians in India on Monday. The incident, which happened late Monday evening during a thunderstorm that included high winds and heavy rain, led to the deaths of at least 14 people.

According to city officials, the tragic fall of the billboard happened in the suburb of Ghatkopar in the western city of Mumbai. A 100-foot-tall billboard has fallen onto a gas station in the area

About 47 people were rescued late into the night. A rescue operation was conducted into Tuesday morning in a bid to get to those who may still be trapped.

In addition to the 14 people reported dead, 74 others were reportedly injured.

Officials have blamed the collapse on the turbulent weather.

“Yesterday (13 May) evening, in the Chheda Nagar area of Ghatkopar, a tragic incident occurred due to speedy winds, resulting in the collapse of a hoarding,” officials said, adding, “Medical treatment is currently being provided to 44 injured individuals, with 31 already discharged after receiving treatment. Unfortunately, 14 people succumbed to death in this mishap.”

Per the Press Trust of India news agency, the collapse is being investigated by police, who say the billboard may have been installed illegally.

The collapse is one of the extensive damages caused by heavy rain and severe floods which usually hit India during the monsoon season from June to September. The season brings most of the country’s annual rainfall and is important for agriculture despite the extensive damage it brings with it.