South Asia

Billboard collapse in Mumbai kills at least 14 amid thunderstorm

MUMBAI, India — At least 14 people were killed and 75 others injured when a billboard larger than an Olympic swimming pool collapsed during a thunderstorm in Mumbai, authorities reported Tuesday.

Rescue efforts continued with many still feared trapped under the debris.

The incident occurred Monday as heavy rain and strong winds caused the billboard to fall on several houses and a fuel station alongside a busy road. Officials from the fire department, police, and disaster response teams were seen clearing the site Tuesday morning.

Due to the proximity to the fuel station, rescuers were unable to use gas cutters, complicating the operation, authorities noted.

The agency responsible for the billboard did not possess the necessary permit from Mumbai’s municipal corporation, which stated in a release that the hoarding spanned approximately 1,338 square meters (14,400 square feet). This size exceeds the Olympic pool standard of 1,250 square meters (13,455 square feet) and is nine times larger than the city’s maximum allowed dimensions for billboards.