Mumbai building collapse leaves at least 19 dead, 16 injured and 20 trapped under rubble as floods ravage India

Rescues workers at the scene in search of survivors as monsoon blamed for unfolding disaster

Thursday 31 August 2017 06:18
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A policeman makes an announcement on a loudspeaker at the site of the building collapse in Mumbai, India
A policeman makes an announcement on a loudspeaker at the site of the building collapse in Mumbai, India

A five-story building collapsed in India's financial capital of Mumbai, killing at least 19 people and injuring 16 others, after torrential rains lashed the country's west. Another 20 people are feared trapped in the debris.

Rescue workers, police and residents helped pull 16 people out of the rubble and were looking for those buried beneath. The building is located in a congested lane of the Bhendi Bazaar area in southern Mumbai.

Thousands of Mumbai buildings that are more than 100 years old are at risk of collapse, their foundations weakened partly by some of the heaviest rainfall that the city has witnessed in more than 15 years.

Authorities were advising people living in an adjacent building to vacate after it developed cracks following Thursday's collapse.

Building collapses are common in India during the monsoon season, which is June to September. High demand and lax regulations encourage some builders to use substandard materials or add unauthorised extra floors.

Meanwhile, the city was slowly limping back to normalcy after it was paralysed by heavy downpours for two days.

Train services and public transport were halted and airports shut on Tuesday as roads turned into rivers and floodwaters seeped into many low-lying buildings. In many places, people had to abandon their vehicles and wade through waist-deep water to reach their homes.

Schools, colleges and offices that were shut on Wednesday opened Thursday, but attendance was sparse.

Every year the city struggles to cope with the annual monsoon deluge, drawing criticism about its poor planning.

AP

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