NEW DELHI • Five people were killed yesterday when an apartment block collapsed in New Delhi, crushing residents beneath mountains of concrete, in the latest building accident to hit India.
Rescuers combing the wreckage with sniffer dogs pulled out at least a dozen people who had been trapped beneath the rubble.
"We can confirm the deaths of five people. Rescue teams at the site are still clearing the debris," local police official Sarat Chandra Nirmal said.
A photographer at the scene in Ashok Vihar saw the bodies of two children being pulled from the rubble.
The block was located in a cramped, middle-class neighbourhood where many buildings share common walls.
The Press Trust of India quoted an unnamed local official as saying that the building was 20 years old and structurally unsound.
Other local media reported that the fourth floor of the block had been illegally constructed.
The incident is the latest in a string of deadly building collapses in India. In July, a six-storey building collapsed in the outskirts of New Delhi, killing nine. Last year, a wall collapsed onto guests at a wedding in Rajasthan state, killing two dozen people.
A massive influx of people to cities in search of jobs and a shortage of cheap housing have fuelled the construction of illegal buildings across India. Many are built with substandard materials. Millions of people also live in dilapidated, old buildings, many of which are susceptible to collapse during rain.