‘Death-trap’ building collapses in Mumbai

DOZENS of people were trapped, and at least 12 died, after a four-storey building collapsed in a crowded Mumbai neighbourhood, earlier this week.

Rescuers were digging people out with their bare hands after the 100-year-old “death trap” building crumbled, following torrential rains across India.

One local resident said: “The building crashed with a heavy sound, and we thought there was an earthquake”.

Similar incidents are common from June to September, when the monsoon strikes and weakens the foundations of

poorly-constructed buildings.

Three people have so far been pulled out alive, including a child, who has already been released from

Narrow lanes near the collapsed building were hampering the rescue efforts because earth-moving machines could not get in.

Officials raced to the scene of the latest collapse, in Mumbai’s Dongri section, pulling out three people alive, including a child, who has since been released from hospital.

However, their efforts were being hampered by narrow lanes in the area, preventing access for earth-moving machines.

Fire official Ashok Talpade, who said they were using sniffer dogs, added: “We don’t know exactly how many are trapped, but with the input provided by neighbours, we estimate more than 30.”

The top official in the state of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadanavis, said the building was 100 years old, with 15 families living there.

He added that the families had been asked to vacate the dilapidated building some time ago, but they refused.

Waris Pathan, an opposition lawmaker, said the building was a “death trap”, but authorities said they had no money to rebuild the structure.

Mumbai was lashed by heavy rains earlier this month, and, on Sunday, a three-story building collapsed in a hilly area of the northern town of Solan, following monsoon rains, killing 14 people.



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