A 40-year old four-storey building collapsed in the Indian city of Mumbai on Tuesday, killing at least twelve people with more than 20 feared trapped, fire and police officials said.
A massive search and rescue operation is now underway to dig out people trapped in the debris. Fourteen people have already been rescued from the rubble, PS Rahangdale, the chief fire officer at the Mumbai Fire Brigade, said.
Video from the site showed a chaotic scene, with dozens of bystanders nearby and first responders trying to dig through what remained of the building in the working-class neighbourhood of Ghatkopar.[caption id="attachment_116575" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Firefighters and rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a collapsed building in the suburbs of Mumbai, India, July 25, 2017 REUTERS[/caption]
About 12 families were living there, said Vijay Khavale, a public relations officer with the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation, which oversees the building.
Infrastructure accidents are tragically common in India, where critics say projects lack proper oversight and safety controls.
At least 24 people were killed in May when a wall collapsed at a wedding. Two bridge collapses last year – one in Kolkata and another on a highway connecting Mumbai to Goa – each led to the deaths of more than a dozen people. One of the most deadly incidents occurred in 2013, when an illegal structure in Thane – not far from Mumbai – collapsed, killing more than 70.