5 Apr 2013

Deadly building collapse in Mumbai

9:56 pm on 5 April 2013

At least 35 people have died, including 11 children, after a building under construction collapsed near the Indian city of Mumbai, according to police.

Dozens have been injured and many others are feared trapped beneath the seven-storey building in Thane in the Maharashtra state.

Police said the block was an illegal construction and building work was still going on even though four floors were already occupied.

Building collapses are common with poor construction practices often blamed.

The BBC reports a growing population and a lack of space has seen an increase in the number of high rises, but many builders fail to take sufficient safety precautions, or obtain proper permission to build.

A police official said a section of the building collapsed on Thursday evening, bringing the entire structure down. Rescue efforts continued throughout the night.

It is not yet clear what caused the collapse, but police inspector Digamber Jangale told the BBC it appeared to be due to the use of substandard building material.

At least four floors of the building had been completed and were occupied. Workers had finished three more floors and were adding an eighth floor when it collapsed, Mr Jangale said.

Most of the victims were construction workers who were staying in the building, he added. At least 69 people were injured.

Police said a case had been registered and an inquiry had begun and that they were searching for the builders to arrest them.