India building collapse kills 12 near Mumbai

Rescue workers use an excavator to clear debris while searching for survivors at the site of a residential building collapse in Thane, near Mumbai, on Aug 4, 2015.
Rescue workers use an excavator to clear debris while searching for survivors at the site of a residential building collapse in Thane, near Mumbai, on Aug 4, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

MUMBAI (AFP) - A dilapidated building killed 12 people when it collapsed outside Mumbai on Tuesday, a rescue official said, the second such accident around the Indian financial capital in a week.  

Rescuers pulled seven people out of the rubble alive after the three-storey structure crumbled overnight while families were sleeping inside, the official said.  

“Rescue operations stopped at 10:20 am with 12 bodies being recovered in total,” National Disaster Response Force official Alok Avasthy told AFP.  

The building, which crumbled around 2:00 am, was situated in the Naupada area of Thane city near Mumbai.  

“It was a 50-year-old structure that was in a dilapidated state and had been declared unsafe by the government two years back but people still lived there,” Avasthy said.  

A family of five were rescued with the help of a sniffer dog, according to the official, who said relief efforts ended after everybody was accounted for.  

The accident is the latest in a long line of deadly building collapses recently, some of which have highlighted poor construction standards.  

It comes just a week after nine people were killed when another old three-storey building collapsed under heavy monsoon rain in the Mumbai suburb of Thakurli.  

Millions in India live in dilapidated buildings, many of which cave in during the annual monsoon season.  

An 11-storey apartment tower being built in the southern state of Tamil Nadu came crashing down in July last year following heavy rain – killing 61 people, mostly labourers.  

A booming economy and rising real estate prices have also often caused unauthorised multi-storey structures to mushroom on the outskirts of cities and towns, some of which have collapsed.