• Wednesday, April 17, 2024

INDIA

Mumbai building collapse toll jumps to 35

Police officers watch rescue operations after a three-storey building collapsed in Bhiwandi, on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, September, 21 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo

By: RadhakrishnaNS

THE building collapse in western India has killed 35 so far and officials fear the death toll may increase further.

Rescue workers battled rain and cramped conditions to scour through rubble and look for possible survivors following the accident on the outskirts of Mumbai, a government official said on Wednesday (23).

The disaster happened on Monday(21) and the rescue operations was on since then.

The building, a three-storey structure in a narrow alley of the industrial town of Bhiwandi, collapsed possibly as a result of heavy rainfall.

“It’s been more than three days, so we don’t know if there are any survivors any more, but we are not losing hope,” said Satya Pradhan, the head of the National Disaster Response Force.

At least eight people are still missing and rescue personnel are clearing debris to look for them, said Pradhan.

Rescue work has been hampered by rain and a narrow entrance to the alley, which prevented heavy equipment from being brought in to clear debris.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the collapse of the structure that housed 54 apartments.

Such disasters are commonplace in India during the monsoon season, as the torrential rains can destabilise old and often illegally constructed buildings.

This week’s collapse however, is one of the worst such incidents in recent years around Mumbai.

Last month, more than a dozen people were killed when a building collapsed in the industrial town of Mahad, 165 km (100 miles) south of Mumbai.

In 2013, more than 120 people were killed in two separate building collapses around Mumbai.

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