Rescuers have pulled more than 60 survivors from the debris of a building that collapsed in India, but one person has been killed while at least 30 are still trapped.
The five-storey building which was home to 200 people caved in on Monday evening near a slum district in Mahad – an industrial town near India’s financial capital Mumbai.
There were believed to be up to around 125 people in the building – which comprised 47 flats – at the time of the collapse, according to local lawmaker Bharatshet Maruti Gogawale.
“One resident was dead and at least 30 were still trapped,” he said from the scene of the disaster.
In quotes reported by Gulf News, he added: “I believe about 100 to 125 people must have been inside at the time of its collapse.”
The building fell almost like a pack of cards, said a police official at the site in Mahad, about 100 miles south of Mumbai in western Maharashtra state.
Residents and police combed through tin sheets, metal rods and other wreckage in a desperate search for survivors as ambulances rushed injured to nearby hospitals amid heavy monsoon rains and fears of Covid-19 infections.
Authorities have yet to ascertain the cause of the collapse, while three teams from the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed to the site.
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has assured the local administration of all possible support for speedy rescue and relief work, his office said on Twitter.
Building collapses are common in India, usually due to shoddy construction, substandard materials and disregard of regulations, typically during torrential rain.
Every year, heavy downpours during the June to September monsoon season bring down rain-sodden small and large structures deemed too dangerous to live in.
More than 1,200 people were killed in 1,161 building collapses across India in 2017, according to latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau.