Death toll from Mumbai building collapse rises to 34

A rescue worker searching for survivors yesterday at the site of the building collapse in Mumbai. The 117-year-old building came crashing down on Thursday after days of heavy rain.
A rescue worker searching for survivors yesterday at the site of the building collapse in Mumbai. The 117-year-old building came crashing down on Thursday after days of heavy rain.PHOTO: REUTERS

MUMBAI • Rescuers in the Indian city of Mumbai yesterday wound down their search for victims in the ruins of a condemned building that collapsed, after pulling 12 survivors and 34 bodies from the rubble, emergency services said.

Another building collapsed last night in Old Delhi's crowded Sadar Bazaar area after hours of heavy rain, injuring at least two people.

"So far, two persons are injured. Rescuers have reached the spot and are looking for anyone trapped under the debris," a senior police official said.

The collapse came one day after the Mumbai disaster, where a 117-year-old, six-storey building in a congested neighbourhood came crashing down after days of heavy rain in the financial hub.

"Rescue operations are in a demobilisation phase. Two fire appliances and one ambulance will be on standby at the site as a precautionary measure," said Mr P.S. Rahangdale, chief fire officer of the Mumbai Fire Brigade.

Among the dead was a baby who was 20 days old, police said.

The collapse was the second in Mumbai in a little over a month. In July, 17 people were killed when a four-storey building came down after suspected unauthorised renovations. The cause of the latest collapse in Mumbai was not known, but it came after days of torrential rainy-season downpours that left parts of the city flooded.

Mr Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, has ordered an inquiry.

The building had been declared unsafe by the housing regulator in 2011, but many people continued living there.

Neighbours said developers tasked with renovating properties in the area had not provided enough information about options for temporary housing.

Officials from the housing regulator told the media that they had granted a neighbourhood trust with the right to redevelop the building and provide temporary housing to residents.

The trust issued a statement on Thursday saying it had started relocating residents, and had moved seven families in 2014, but other residents had refused to leave.

REUTERS, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2017, with the headline 'Death toll from Mumbai building collapse rises to 34'. Print Edition | Subscribe