A three-storey building on the outskirts of Mumbai has collapsed in the early morning hours as residents slept inside, killing at least 10 people, according to officials.
A further 20 to 25 people are reportedly trapped in the building in Bhiwandi – about 40km (25 miles) from Mumbai – the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said on Monday.
Emergency workers from the NDRF team pulled 19 people from the rubble – including two boys aged four and seven – to loud cheers from residents.
“Total number of deaths is 10… Rescue operations are ongoing”, NDRF commandant Ithape Pandit told AFP news agency.
More than 40 emergency workers, including a team of 30 rescuers from the NDRF, were pressed into action for the rescue operation.
The accident in the city of Bhiwandi occurred at approximately 3:40am local time (22:10 GMT on Sunday), local authorities said.
Images shared on the NDRF’s official Twitter page showed emergency workers combing through concrete and brick rubble with electrical wires hanging over their heads.
BHIWANDI BLDNG COLLAPSE:
REAL TIME update4
🔶@NDRFHQ teams on site
🔶2nd live victim RESCUED
🔶38 yr man rescued alive
🔶More live victims likely
🔶Ops will continue @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @BhallaAjay26 @PIBHomeAffairs @PIBMumbai @ANI @ndmaindia @DDNewsHindi @airnewsalerts pic.twitter.com/ybFpXyFagO
— ѕαtчα prαdhαnसत्य नारायण प्रधान ସତ୍ଯପ୍ରଧାନ-DG NDRF (@satyaprad1) September 21, 2020
Television showed a pile of rubble with rescuers climbing ladders to get to anyone still inside and deploying dogs to search for survivors.
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 had been on a list of dangerous buildings and a notice for it to be vacated had been issued, the Times of India reported, citing Pankaj Ashiya, a commissioner in the Bhiwandi-Nizampura City Municipal Corporation.
Last month, at least 13 people were killed after a five-storey building collapsed in Mahad, an industrial town about 165km (100 miles) south of Mumbai.
In 2017, National Crime Records Bureau data showed that more than 1,200 people were killed in building collapses nationwide.