Apartment block collapses in Mumbai: fire official

MUMBAI (AFP) - An apartment block collapsed in central Mumbai on Monday evening with people feared trapped inside, a fire official said, on the second day of heavy monsoon rains in the city.

"Rescue operations are still on. We're not sure how many people are trapped inside," the official, who declined to give his name, told AFP after the collapse in the Mahim area, without giving further details.

According to the NDTV news website, the residential building had a car showroom on its ground floor. A picture on the website showed a large crowd gathered around a mound of rubble between two buildings.

Reports said the collapsed structure had been four or five storeys high.

The accident comes two months after a seven-storey building collapsed on Mumbai's outskirts and killed 74 people, leading to the arrest of two builders and seven others in connection with the tragedy.

The collapse of the partially-finished building highlighted widespread shoddy construction standards in India, where huge demand for housing and pervasive corruption often mean cost-cutting and a lack of safety inspections.

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