India building collapse sees death toll top 30 as rescue continues
Rescuers in India are battling rain and cramped conditions to search through the rubble and look for possible survivors as the toll from the apartment building collapse rose to 35, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
“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,” Satya Pradhan, the head of the National Disaster Response Force, told Reuters.
At least eight people are still missing and rescue personnel are clearing debris to look for them, said Pradhan.
The three-storey building in the Bhiwandi area collapsed early Monday while most residents were asleep. More than 60 people were estimated to be in the building at the time.
Images shared on the NDRF’s official Twitter page on Monday showed emergency workers combing through concrete and brick rubble with electrical wires hanging over their heads.
Rescuers are also using dogs to help search for survivors, though rain and a narrow entrance to the alley have prevented heavy equipment from being brought in to clear debris.
These type disasters are common in India during the monsoon season, as torrential rain can destabilise old and often illegally constructed buildings.
Monday’s collapse is, however, one of the worst incidents in recent years around Mumbai.
Last month, more than a dozen people were killed when a building collapsed in the town of Mahad.
In 2013, more than 120 people were killed in two separate building collapses around Mumbai.
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