Death toll at 33 as rescuers end search at collapsed Mumbai building

2017-09-01 15:21
Indian rescue workers look for survivors in the debris of a collapsed building in Mumbai. (Punit Paranjpe/AFP)

Indian rescue workers look for survivors in the debris of a collapsed building in Mumbai. (Punit Paranjpe/AFP)

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Mumbai – Rescuers on Friday ended the search for survivors in the rubble of a collapsed apartment building in India's financial capital of Mumbai where 33 people died.

Workers used earth-moving machines to lift concrete slabs and cement blocks, and no one was still missing after the debris was cleared on Friday afternoon, firefighter Bhaskar Pawar said.

The 117-year-old building was declared unsafe six years ago, but nine families were still living there. A nursery school had also continued to operate on the first floor, though it was not yet open for the day when the building collapsed on Thursday morning.

Officials said torrential rains that caused citywide flooding this week had likely triggered the collapse.

Among those killed was a 20-day-old boy. Police were still trying to identify some of the victims, and said workers may have been present in ground-floor warehouses when the building fell.

Building collapses common

Three firefighters were among the 13 being treated for injuries at a Mumbai hospital.

Thousands of buildings in Mumbai are more than a century old, their foundations weakened by years of heavy rains during the annual June-September monsoon season.

It was the second Mumbai building to fall in recent weeks, after a four-storey building toppled in the city's suburb of Ghatkopar last month, killing 17.

Building collapses are common in India, and are largely caused by shoddy construction materials or lax oversight of regulations. With property and rental prices high in Mumbai, some builders have added unauthorised extra floors.

This week's floodwaters were receding on Friday, and most public buses had resumed service.

During this year's monsoon season, floods have engulfed cities and wide swathes of countryside in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan, leaving at least 1 000 people dead and damaging businesses and infrastructure, swamping farmland, triggering landslides and washing away tens of thousands of homes.

Read more on:    india  |  weather  |  accidents

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