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Rescuers find 14 bodies after building collapse in India

/ 05:14 PM July 17, 2019
Rescuers find 14 bodies after building collapse in India

Rescuers carry out a survivor from the site of a building that collapsed in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, July 16, 2019. A four-story residential building collapsed Tuesday in a crowded neighborhood in Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital, and several people were feared trapped in the rubble, an official said. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

MUMBAI, India — Rescuers found 14 bodies and pulled out 11 survivors as they began winding down operations at the site of a dilapidated building that collapsed in India’s financial capital of Mumbai, an official said Wednesday.

Bijendra Dahiya, a National Disaster Response Force official, said workers were still looking for two to three people feared trapped in the rubble.

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Dozens of rescuers worked overnight at the site where the four-story building collapsed on Tuesday, fire official Ashok Talpade said. The survivors included a child who was treated at a hospital and allowed to go home. Others remain hospitalized, Talpade said.

A 16-year-old girl trapped under a heavy door was taken out by rescuers who cut through iron beams and cleared debris using hydraulic cutters.

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Dahiya said it had taken more than 24 hours to clear most of the debris as the lane where the collapse occurred was too narrow for rescue vehicles. Most of the equipment was carried by hand and people also formed a human chain to remove debris.

Heavy monsoon rains fall in India from June to September, causing severe flooding and collapsing poorly built and dilapidated structures.

At least four other collapses have occurred this month in Mumbai and another western city, Pune, killing at least 31 people. On Sunday, a building collapse in the northern town of Solan killed 14 people.

Maharashtra state’s top elected official, Devendra Fadanavis, said the building that collapsed Tuesday was nearly 100 years old and 15 families were living there.

Talpade said the families had stayed after being asked to leave. Waris Pathan, an opposition lawmaker, said the building was a death trap, with authorities saying they had no money to rebuild the structure. /kga

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