An apartment block has collapsed in the Indian city of Mumbai killing at least seven people amid heavy monsoon rains, police say.

Several others, including children and the elderly, were still trapped under the debris.

Al Jazeera's Divya Gopalan, reporting from Mumbai, said there were at least 16 apartments in the building, and that there was a car showroom at the bottom floor.

The wife and son of a noted criminal lawyer who represented Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt when he surrendered in court last month in connection with 1993 Mumbai blasts case, were among the dead, private television channel NDTV reported.

Four diggers and a crowd of people were gathered around a high mound of rubble, which are the remains of half of the five-storey building that caved in, said an AFP photographer at the scene. The other half of the building was still standing.

"Rescue operations are on, but they are difficult due to the heavy rain," a police inspector in the Mahim neighbourhood, where the collapse happened, told AFP.

The accident comes two months after a seven-storey building collapsed on Mumbai's outskirts, killing 74 people and leading to the arrest of two builders and seven others in connection with the tragedy.

The collapse of the partially-finished building highlighted widespread shoddy construction standards in India, where huge demand for housing and pervasive corruption often mean cost-cutting and a lack of safety inspections.

Downpours on the first two days of the monsoon season in Mumbai have caused flooding, train delays and traffic jams across the city.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies