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Huge billboard collapses during dust storm in Mumbai, killing 14

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A huge billboard collapsed Monday during a dust storm in India’s financial capital of Mumbai, killing at least 14 people and injuring more than 70 others, local officials say. Several others may still be trapped.

The incident happened at 4:30 p.m. on Monday when a strong dust and rain storm moved through the megacity, turning the sky dark while uprooting trees, damaging buildings and causing power outages.

Video showed the massive billboard – 70 by 50 meters in size – falling over amid strong winds, crushing a gas station, cars and several homes in Ghatkopar, a suburb in eastern Mumbai not far from the international airport.

Nikhil Mudholkar, of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), said 88 people were rescued by Tuesday morning, including 14 people who were pronounced dead. Of the 74 injured, at least 31 were already discharged.

Several other people may still be trapped under the rubble and rescue work is continuing at the scene.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said those responsible for the billboard will be investigated for culpable homicide. He also ordered authorities to audit all similar billboards across the city.

The billboard collapse was not the only incident during Monday’s severe weather. Elsewhere in the city, a 14-story under construction metal structure collapsed, injuring at least one person.

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