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Survivors pulled from collapsed India apartment building; death toll hits 20

Published on Jun 30, 2014 7:13 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Rescuers on Monday plucked two survivors from the ruins of a southern India apartment block that collapsed at the weekend, as they raced against the clock to find dozens more feared trapped in the rubble.

The confirmed death toll from Saturday's disaster on the outskirts of Chennai rose to 20 as the authorities blamed shoddy construction for what was the second deadly building collapse in India within a matter of hours.

Mr Karuna Sagar, a senior officer with the Tamil Nadu state police force said that, six people were arrested in the case on account of negligence, including the builder and his son, the architect of the residential tower and three others overseeing the building construction.

"Forty-three bodies were retrieved, of them 20 were dead and 23 were alive," Mr Sagar told AFP in a phone interview on Monday. "About 30 may be trapped (under the debris), but the exact number is not known yet," he added.

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