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At least 29 dead in India building collapse: police

Published Apr 05, 2013 09:15am


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Indian rescue workers and local residents look for survivors at the site of building collapse in Mumbra, on the outskirts of Mumbai on April 4, 2013. — Photo by AFP

MUMBAI: At least 29 people — mostly labourers and their families — were crushed to death on the outskirts of Mumbai after a building collapsed while under construction, police said on Friday.

As rescuers combed the rubble for survivors, two toddlers were pulled out alive to cries of “God is great” and cheers and clapping, an AFP photographer at the scene said.

The seven-storey building collapsed on Thursday evening, creating a mangled heap of steel and concrete of about 8 metres (26 feet) high that rescuers and local residents struggled to cut through.

Rescue efforts continued through the night, with diggers and steel cutters employed to reach victims who were carried away on makeshift stretchers. Limbs protruded from the wreckage in a grisly scene.

“Twenty-nine people have lost their lives so far. We have rescued 60 people, some of whom are injured,” said K.P. Raghuvanshi, the police commissioner of Thane district, about 35 kilometres from the Indian commercial capital.

Most of the victims were migrant labourers who come to Mumbai to find work on building sites, earning as little as a few hundred rupees (about $6) a day.

They often bring their wives and children, who live on-site.

The local civil administration said it was probing the incident and would check other new structures built recently in the vicinity, a middle-class commuter area with modern-style residential blocks.

“The building (that has collapsed) was an unauthorised construction. We are going to investigate thoroughly into this and prepare a report,” Sandeep Malwi, spokesman for the Thane municipal corporation, told AFP.

The Hindustan Times daily said the builders may have ignored building regulations.

“Seven floors were built in merely three to four months. It was bound to collapse due to the inferior construction material used by the builders,” the paper quoted the local head of the disaster management cell as saying.

Building collapses are a common occurrence in India, where a booming economy has led to a mushrooming of multi-storey structures which are often unauthorised and flout safety laws.

In February, the collapse of a flyover bridge being built at Mumbai's main airport killed three people and injured another seven.

In one of the worst such accidents of recent years, 69 people died and more than 80 were injured in November 2010 in New Delhi where a residential building under construction collapsed, trapping families in the lower floors.


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Comments (6) Closed

chait Apr 05, 2013 07:28am
Dawn is always reporting catastrophe occuring in India on front page.. No news reported on any new drug discovery or landmark verdict by supreme court. I guess dawn enjoys painting a bad image of india
Akash Paul Apr 05, 2013 09:11am
Chait, I am an Indian and a regular reader of Dawn News. I can tell you from my own experience that Dawn is the most unbiased paper I ever read. There are 100s of article talking good about India. I suggest dont come to any conclusion so soon.
rich Apr 05, 2013 11:32am
flyover bridge did not collapse, the section of concrete slab being being fited on pillars colapsed this bld in mubra is a mulsim srea and most structre are illigeal there, build on govt land this structure came up in just 2 months, so u can imagine, as a rule muslim do not like to follow rules hence the targedy
Stranger Apr 05, 2013 12:34pm
Why blame DAWN. Many Pak newspapers will clearly write anything that shows Ind in a bad light . Many Indian papers will publish whatever shows Pak in a bad light. But papers like Dawn , I am reading since several years and they have some degree of credibility.
Madan Apr 05, 2013 03:39pm
Dawn reports news good or bad.
Swaran Singh Apr 05, 2013 07:09pm
This bridge was not built by amuslim contractor. Its so shamefull that you connect religion to building collapse. You dirty rich you hatemonger, I pity you. I am more hindu than you are and you make me sick with your petty thinking. The corrupt have no religion. Dawn is a great worldclass newspaper. Shame on you; Swaran Singh