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Seven dead in Mumbai building collapse

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Seven dead in Mumbai building collapse

MUMBAI, India, Aug 31 – At least seven people died and dozens were feared trapped when a building collapsed in India’s financial capital of Mumbai Thursday, after days of heavy rain swamped the city.

Rescuers using diggers sifted through the remains of the four-storey residential building which gave way around 08:40 am (0310 GMT) in the densely populated area of Bhendi Bazaar.

It was the latest deadly housing collapse to strike the teeming metropolis — shining a spotlight on poor construction standards in the Asian country — and came after heavy rains and inundations in the city killed 10 people.

An official in the control room of India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said seven bodies had been pulled from the rubble and that around 30 more were still thought to be trapped.

Ambulances rushed more than a dozen injured to the nearby J.J. Hospital in the south of the city while locals joined a 43-member NDRF team in picking through piles of debris in a desperate hunt for survivors.

“Seven people have died and 15 have been brought here injured, including five who are in a critical condition,” the dean of the hospital, T.P. Lahane, told AFP.

Building collapses are common in Mumbai, especially during the monsoon season from late June to September, when heavy rains lash the western Indian city.

Severe downpours began on Tuesday and caused flooding across Mumbai and the neighbouring region of Thane.

The collapse came as officials said the death toll from the floods was expected to rise above 10, despite the waters receding after better weather.

“We are still on the lookout for more missing persons and the number may go up,” Santosh Kadam, spokesman for disaster control in Thane, told AFP.

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