Mumbai billboard owner arrested after deadly collapse: reports

MUMBAI: Indian police have arrested the owner of a huge billboard that collapsed on a petrol station and killed 16 people in the financial capital Mumbai, media reports said.

Another 75 people were rescued from underneath the wreckage of Monday's accident when the giant hoarding fell during fierce rain and dust storms that buffeted the coastal megacity.

Police opened a culpable homicide case against the billboard's owner Bhavesh Bhinde who fled Mumbai in the aftermath of the collapse.

He was arrested late Thursday in the tourist city of Udaipur, around 800 kilometres (497 miles) to the north, police joint commissioner Lakhmi Gautam told The Indian Express.

"Bhinde has been nabbed from Udaipur where he was staying in a hotel under the name of his relative," Gautam told the newspaper.

"Our teams had been trying to track him down and eventually found him on Thursday evening."

Police could not be reached for comment by AFP on Friday.

The storm that hit Mumbai on Monday uprooted trees, caused brief power outages in various neighbourhoods around the city and disrupted the city's train network.

Mumbai's international airport also temporarily grounded flights with at least 15 planes diverted.

Eknath Shinde, the chief minister of Maharashtra state, earlier this week ordered an audit of all billboards in Mumbai to prevent any repeat of the accident elsewhere.

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