Mumbai police arrest three over building collapse

Indian police on Tuesday arrested three officials working for the Mumbai city government over the collapse of an apartment block last week that killed 60 people, a spokesman said.

The accident happened early on Friday while more than 90 people were inside the building owned by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). It was the latest in a string of collapses to hit the financial capital.

Police on Sunday arrested one man reported to occupy a ground-floor office and warehouse in the building, who was accused of carrying out faulty and unauthorised renovations on the building in east Mumbai.

The latest arrests are of MCGM staff, who are due to appear in court on Wednesday, corporation spokesman Vijay Khabale Patil told AFP.

"They are concerned officers who had to look after repairs and other things," the spokesman said.

The spokesman earlier told AFP that the corporation had asked its employees living in the building to move out earlier in the year. Local media said the block, about 30 years old, had been listed as needing "urgent repairs".

The corporation has suspended seven engineers and is investigating another 11 staff members, while a committee has been set up to probe the cause of the collapse.

Several other buildings have collapsed in Mumbai and surrounding areas in recent months, including an apartment block in April that left 74 dead.

Huge demand for homes and pervasive corruption lead to often illegal and shoddy construction in Indian cities such as Mumbai.