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India: Two bodies found as death toll rises in Goa building collapse

Rescuers have recovered 23 survivors, pulling the last from the wreckage on Sunday but at least 17 workers have died

Rescuers have found two more bodies under a massive pile of broken concrete from a building that collapsed while being constructed in southern India, raising the death toll to at least 17 workers, a politician said today.

Local legislator Ramesh Tawadkar said rescuers have recovered 23 survivors, pulling the last from the wreckage late yesterday. There was little hope of finding any more people alive in the rubble two days after Saturday's collapse of the five-storey structure.

Digging at the site was halted temporarily today after two adjacent buildings, also under construction, developed wide cracks, raising fears that they might also collapse. Police cordoned off the area and called engineers to inspect the two buildings, police officer Mohan Naik said.

The building was being constructed in marshland in Canacona, about 45 miles (70km) from Panaji, the capital of Goa state.

Police said they were unable to determine how many workers were at the site when the structure crumbled because they could not reach the builder and contractor, who are suspected of fleeing.

Building collapses are common in India, as massive demand for housing and lax regulations often encourage builders to cut corners by using substandard materials or add unauthorised extra floors.


Video: Goa building collapse