At least 11 people killed in building collapse in Vadodara, western India

AHMEDABAD, India (AFP) - At least 11 people were killed and several more feared trapped when a four-storey apartment block collapsed on Wednesday in a city in western India, officials said.

The public housing block, located in the city of Vadodara, some 110 kilometres from Ahmedabad, caved in before dawn, senior local government administrator Vinod Rao said.

“The death toll has risen to 11 from the building collapse,” he told AFP by telephone.

Rescuers moved in heavy machinery to remove bricks, mortar and cement as they searched for survivors.

“Five of those rescued are undergoing treatment in hospitals and we are still searching for others beneath the rubble,” the official said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Rao said up to 20 people were in the building at the time of the collapse. The building had 14 apartments.

Last month, a two-storey hotel collapsed in the southern city of Secunderabad, killing 13 people and injuring 17 others.

In April, another building collapse in Mumbai claimed the lives of 74 people.

The accidents have highlighted shoddy construction standards in the country, where huge demand for housing and endemic corruption often result in illegal, unsafe buildings.