At least 14 dead as billboard collapses in Mumbai during thunderstorm | Weather report

The billboard collapsed on some houses and a gas station next to a busy road in the eastern suburb of Ghatkopar after gusty winds and rain.

At least 14 people were killed and dozens more injured in a thunderstorm in India’s financial capital Mumbai after a huge billboard fell on them, local authorities said.

Following gusty winds and rain late Monday night, the billboard on top of some houses and a gas station next to a busy road in the eastern suburb of Ghatkopar collapsed.

Many more people were trapped following the incident and rescue work continued into the early hours of Tuesday morning. According to the Mumbai city government, 74 people were hospitalized with injuries following the accident, of whom 31 were discharged.

Billboard India Mumbai
Rescuers search for victims under collapsed billboard in Mumbai (Rafiq Maqbool/AP)

The rains, accompanied by strong winds, caused the 30-meter-tall billboard, which stood next to a busy road in Ghatkopar’s Chheda Nagar area, to fall over a petrol station and some houses on Monday evening.

The Press Trust of India news agency, citing police officials, reported that the billboard was installed illegally.

On Monday evening, Devendra Fadnavis, deputy chief minister of Maharashtra state, said a high-level probe had been ordered into the incident and strict action would be taken against those responsible.

“A high-level inquiry has been ordered into the incident,” Fadnavis said in a post on X.

Billboard India Mumbai
A resident reacts while talking on the phone during the rescue operation (Punit Paranjpe/AFP)

Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, was hit by strong winds and rain and dust storms that uprooted trees and caused brief power outages in parts of the city as well as disruptions to the city’s train network.

The storm brought traffic to a standstill in parts of the city and disrupted operations at the airport, one of the busiest in the country, with at least 15 flight diversions.

India experiences heavy rainfall and severe flooding during the monsoon season between June and September, which brings most of the annual rainfall. Rain is crucial for agriculture but often causes great damage.