Thirteen killed in India building collapse: Police

SECUNDERABAD, India (AFP) - A two-storey hotel collapsed in the southern Indian city of Secunderabad on Monday, killing at least 13 people and injuring 17 others, police said.

Rescue workers were searching through tonnes of rubble hours after the collapse in the city in Andhra Pradesh state in case people were still trapped, local police official K. Satyanarayana said.

"The number of people killed is now 13," the officer said. Most of the victims were said to be employees and local residents reported that one of them was the hotel owner's son.

The officer said 17 people have been rescued from the debris and taken to hospital, and three of them were in a critical condition.

Some 25 people were working at the hotel, located on a busy road in Secunderabad, when a kitchen wall gave way, triggering a larger collapse and burying staff under debris, local police official B. Surender said.

"The building was very old and the walls showed cracks, according to people working nearby," he added.

Rescue workers used diggers, cranes and electric cutters to try to clear the debris, as family members of the hotel workers waited at the site for news.

Several buildings have collapsed in India in recent months, many of them apartment blocks in the financial capital Mumbai, including one in April that killed 74 people.

The collapses have highlighted pervasive poor construction standards in the country, where massive demand for housing and endemic corruption often result in illegal buildings and a lack of safety inspections.

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