Building collapse kills six

March 15, 2014 - 6:16:41 am

National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) members and firemen look for survivors from the rubble of a collapsed building in Mumbai yesterday.

MUMBAI: An apartment block collapsed in the Indian financial hub Mumbai yesterday, killing six people and injuring three others in the latest of a string of deadly building cave-ins, authorities said.

Dozens of rescuers scoured the rubble in search of anyone still trapped under the flattened remains of the seven-storey building, located in a densely populated area of the city and surrounded by other structures which were hit with debris.

“There have been six deaths, of which we can confirm two are women. Three persons have also been injured,” a municipal official said, asking not to be named. Searchers, including fire brigade and police officials, worked through the evening at the site in a Mumbai suburb.

Rescuers using heavy digging equipment waded through twisted steel and concrete rubble from the building to see if there were other victims while residents stood around watching. “We do not yet know the exact number of people who might be trapped,” the municipal official said.

One official from India’s emergency response agency said however that he believed the toll of dead and injured would not increase significantly.

“Information indicates two families were caught in the collapse so we are hoping the numbers will not rise sharply from here,” Commandant Alok Avasthy of the National Disaster Response Force said.

Avasthy promised that rescuers would stay at the site until all potential victims were pulled out.

“Two teams from National Disaster Response Force, amounting to 65 personnel, are on the spot and will continue the operation until we are sure everything is clear,” he said.

Police initially thought no-one was in the building as it had been cleared of tenants after being declared uninhabitable by municipal authorities who had served a demolition notice.

But in teeming Mumbai, where housing is in huge demand and extremely costly, the demolition order had been challenged by the tenants, area residents said.AFP

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