7-storey Mumbai building collapses in pile of concrete slab and debris
Rescue workers search for survivors in the debris of a building that collapsed in Mumbai, India, Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP / Rajanish Kakade)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, March 14, 2014 10:24AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 14, 2014 9:42PM EDT
MUMBAI, India -- An old, seven-storey residential building collapsed Friday in a Mumbai suburb, killing at least two people and possibly trapping more under the debris, Indian officials said.
The building had already been condemned as unsafe when it crashed down into a huge pile of concrete slabs, rubble and dust, Disaster Response Force commander Alok Awasthi said.
Rescuers pulled out two bodies as well as three survivors with minor injuries, Awasthi said. Dozens of firefighters and emergency workers were digging into the wreckage in hopes of finding more survivors. Two ambulances were standing by ready to ferry the wounded to a hospital.
While the building was officially uninhabited, some families were living there illegally. Another dozen or so people had set up makeshift slum huts at the base of the building in the Santacruz suburb of India's west-coast financial capital.
"Our rough estimate is that there are around eight to 10 people feared trapped inside. Rescue operations are going on," he said.
Building collapses are common in India, where high demand for housing and lax regulations have encouraged some builders to cut corners, use substandard materials or add unauthorized extra floors.