Building collapse kills six in India’s Mumbai

Indian rescue workers look for survivors in debris at the site of a building collapse in Mumbai.
Indian rescue workers look for survivors in debris at the site of a building collapse in Mumbai.

At least six people were crushed to death when a four-storey building collapsed in India’s financial capital of Mumbai Tuesday (25), the latest incident to highlight poor construction standards in the country.

Rescuers pulled a dozen others out of the rubble alive, some seriously injured, after the structure gave way mid-morning in the northern suburb of Ghatkopar, officials said.

“The death toll is now six. We think around 15 may still be trapped and rescue operations are ongoing,” Tanaji Kamble, a disaster management spokesman for Mumbai’s civic administrative body, said.

Building collapses are common in India, especially during the annual monsoon season which usually runs from late June to September.

In a separate incident Tuesday, a building partially collapsed in Kolkata in India’s east after days of monsoonal rain. Several people were trapped in the rubble, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

“Firefighters are trying to rescue the people trapped under the debris,” said G P Ghosh, director of fire services in West Bengal state.

Mumbai is particularly susceptible with millions forced to live in cramped, ramshackle properties because of rising real estate prices and a lack of housing for the poor.

The city has been hit by several deadly building collapses in recent years, often caused by shoddy construction, poor quality materials or ageing buildings.

In 2013, 60 people were killed when a residential block came crashing down in one of Mumbai’s worst housing disasters.

A dilapidated building left 12 people dead when it collapsed near the city in August 2015. Nine people died the same month when another old three-storey building collapsed in monsoon rain in the Mumbai suburb of Thakurli.