By Lucia Suarez Sang
Published July 16, 2019
More than a dozen people are feared trapped under the rubble of a four-story residential building that collapsed Tuesday, killing at least 10 people in Mumbai, India.
First responders, using sniffer dogs, are frantically searching the remains of the building in Dongri, a crowded residential section of Mumbai, for any survivors, while video showed people forming a human chain to remove the rubble using their hands.
“The building crashed with a heavy sound and we through there was an earthquake,” a local resident told the New Delhi Television news channel.
Fire official Ashok Talpade told reporters that at least eight people, including a child, have been rescued and rushed to the hospital. The child was allowed to go home after being treated, he said.
A 16-year-old girl trapped under a heavy door was taken out by rescuers after cutting through iron beams and clearing the debris using hydraulic cutters, the NDTV reported.
The building was located in a narrow lane in a congested area of India’s financial and entertainment capital. This made it difficult to send earth-moving machines to help remove the rubble.
Ambulances and fire trucks were forced to park some distance away because the lane leading to the building was too narrow for them to enter.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet said:'Collapse of a building in Mumbai's Dongri is anguishing. My condolences to the family of those who list their lives."
Maharashtra state’s top elected official, Devendra Fadanavis, told reporters that the building was about 100 years old and that 15 families were living there at the time.
Talpade told reporters that the families were asked to vacate the dilapidated building some time ago but they continued to live there. Authorities have said there is no money to rebuild the structure.
Building collapses are common in India during the June-September monsoon season, when heavy rains weaken the foundations of structures that are poorly constructed. Mumbai was lashed by heavy rains early this month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.