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18:09 08/31/2017

Mumbai building collapse kills at least 12 people amid severe flooding

Mumbai building collapse kills at least 12 people amid severe flooding
At least 12 people died when a building collapsed in Mumbai, India's financial capital, after heavy rains that have wreaked havoc in many parts of South Asia. More than a dozen others were pulled from the rubble of the four-storey residential building, which gave way at around 8.40am (4.10am BST) on Thursday in the densely populated area of Bhendi Bazaar. It was the most recent deadly housing collapse to strike the teeming metropolis - shining a spotlight on poor construction standards in the Asian country - and came after flooding in the city killed 10 people. "Twelve people have died including three women and nine men. Rescue operations are ongoing," said Vijay Khabale-Patil, a spokesman for Mumbai's civic authority. Firefighters and rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a collapsed building in Mumbai Credit:  REUTERS Ambulances took more than a dozen injured to the nearby JJ Hospital in the south of the city, while locals joined a 43-member NDRF team in picking through piles of debris in a hunt for survivors. "I can confirm that 11 people are dead and 15 have been brought here injured, including three who are in a critical condition," the dean of the hospital, TP Lahane said. Building collapses are common in Mumbai, especially during the monsoon season from late June to September, when heavy rains lash the western Indian city, weakening poorly built structures. Severe downpours caused flooding and chaos across Mumbai and the neighbouring region of Thane on Tuesday, although waters had receded by late Wednesday. People and rescue personnel are seen after a building collapsed in Mumbai, India Credit:  REUTERS Bhendi Bazaar, a scruffy colonial-era market, is one of Mumbai's most historic districts and officials said the collapsed building was 117 years old. It had been marked for demolition as part of a multi-million pound redevelopment project that is currently replacing hundreds of ramshackle, decades-old low-rise buildings with around a dozen glitzy new tower blocks. Distraught residents said they rushed to the scene of the collapsed structure after hearing a loud crash. "There was a huge noise and we all came running," said Naseem Mogradia. Rescuers using diggers could be seen sifting through the remains Credit:  REUTERS Shahid Khan, 52, said he didn't know whether his friend and seven family members who lived on the ground floor were alive or dead. "I am just trying to help with rescue operations," he said. Mumbai has been hit by several deadly building collapses in recent years, often caused by shoddy construction, poor quality materials or ageing buildings. Millions are forced to live in cramped, ramshackle properties because of spiralling real estate prices and a lack of housing for the poor. Activists say housing societies, private owners and builders often cut corners to save on costs. Mumbai is particularly vulnerable to deadly collapse with millions forced to live in cramped, ramshackle properties Credit:  REUTERS Rent control acts mean landlords cannot afford to maintain buildings, while poor people choose to remain in homes even after they have been declared unsafe because they have nowhere else to go. "Most of the buildings in Bhendi Bazaar are old and dilapidated. We always live in fear that they will collapse during monsoons," 63-year-old Mohammed Shaikh said. In July, 17 people including a three-month-old baby died when a four-storey building gave way in the northern suburb of Ghatkopar. In 2013, 60 people were killed when a residential block came crashing down in one of Mumbai's worst housing disasters. People look on after a building collapsed in Mumbai Credit: REUTERS On Thursday, officials in Mumbai said the death toll from floods in and around the city were expected to rise above 10 as the waters receded. "We are still on the lookout for more missing persons and the number may go up," said Santosh Kadam, spokesman for disaster control in Thane. More than 1,200 have been killed India, Nepal and Bangladesh in devastating floods this monsoon season.

At least 12 people died when a building collapsed in Mumbai, India's financial capital, after heavy rains that have wreaked havoc in many parts of South Asia.

More than a dozen others were pulled from the rubble of the four-storey residential building, which gave way at around 8.40am (4.10am BST) on Thursday in the densely populated area of Bhendi Bazaar.

It was the most recent deadly housing collapse to strike the teeming metropolis - shining a spotlight on poor construction standards in the Asian country - and came after flooding in the city killed 10 people.

"Twelve people have died including three women and nine men. Rescue operations are ongoing," said Vijay Khabale-Patil, a spokesman for Mumbai's civic authority.

Firefighters and rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a collapsed building in Mumbai Credit:  REUTERS

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

"I can confirm that 11 people are dead and 15 have been brought here injured, including three who are in a critical condition," the dean of the hospital, TP Lahane said.

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

Severe downpours caused flooding and chaos across Mumbai and the neighbouring region of Thane on Tuesday, although waters had receded by late Wednesday.

People and rescue personnel are seen after a building collapsed in Mumbai, India Credit:  REUTERS

Bhendi Bazaar, a scruffy colonial-era market, is one of Mumbai's most historic districts and officials said the collapsed building was 117 years old.

It had been marked for demolition as part of a multi-million pound redevelopment project that is currently replacing hundreds of ramshackle, decades-old low-rise buildings with around a dozen glitzy new tower blocks.

Distraught residents said they rushed to the scene of the collapsed structure after hearing a loud crash.

"There was a huge noise and we all came running," said Naseem Mogradia.

Rescuers using diggers could be seen sifting through the remains Credit:  REUTERS

Shahid Khan, 52, said he didn't know whether his friend and seven family members who lived on the ground floor were alive or dead. "I am just trying to help with rescue operations," he said.

Mumbai has been hit by several deadly building collapses in recent years, often caused by shoddy construction, poor quality materials or ageing buildings.

Millions are forced to live in cramped, ramshackle properties because of spiralling real estate prices and a lack of housing for the poor.

Activists say housing societies, private owners and builders often cut corners to save on costs.

Mumbai is particularly vulnerable to deadly collapse with millions forced to live in cramped, ramshackle properties Credit:  REUTERS

Rent control acts mean landlords cannot afford to maintain buildings, while poor people choose to remain in homes even after they have been declared unsafe because they have nowhere else to go.

"Most of the buildings in Bhendi Bazaar are old and dilapidated. We always live in fear that they will collapse during monsoons," 63-year-old Mohammed Shaikh said.

In July, 17 people including a three-month-old baby died when a four-storey building gave way in the northern suburb of Ghatkopar.

In 2013, 60 people were killed when a residential block came crashing down in one of Mumbai's worst housing disasters.

People look on after a building collapsed in Mumbai Credit: REUTERS

On Thursday, officials in Mumbai said the death toll from floods in and around the city were expected to rise above 10 as the waters receded.

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

More than 1,200 have been killed India, Nepal and Bangladesh in devastating floods this monsoon season.

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