At Least 10 Dead in Residential Building Collapse in India

September 22, 2020

NEW DELHI — A residential building that was due for repairs collapsed in central India early Monday, killing at least 10 people and trapping many others, officials said.

Around 20-25 people are feared to be trapped under the rubble of the four-story building in Maharashtra state that collapsed at around 4 a.m., said India’s National Disaster Response Force.

Satya Narayan Pradhan, director general of the National Disaster Response Force, shared photos and videos of the ongoing rescue operation on Twitter and said that so far eight survivors, including a 7-year-old boy, had been rescued. He said there likely were more survivors.

The visuals showed rescuers pulling the boy and several other people out from under the debris and giving them water to drink.

At least 11 people were injured when the building collapsed, said Pankaj Ashiya, the commissioner of the town of Bhiwandi in Thane district, a suburb of Mumbai, India’s financial capital.

He said that the building was over 30 years old and needed repairs, which couldn’t be carried out due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twitter. “Praying for a quick recovery of those injured. Rescue operations are underway and all possible assistance is being provided to the affected,” he wrote.

The building, which contained several apartments and was home to at least 25 families, is located in a densely populated part of Bhiwandi, a textile hub known for its many power loom factories, officials said. The Maharashtra state government announced compensation of 500,000 rupees ($6,800) for those affected by the disaster.

Maharashtra is among the Indian states hardest hit by the coronavirus, with over 1 million reported cases. India has reported over 5.4 million cases overall.

Building collapses are common in India during the June-September monsoon season, when heavy rains weaken the foundations of structures that are poorly constructed or old.

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