Fourteen dead in Mumbai building collapse as search called off

Rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a collapsed building in Mumbai July 16, 2019. — Reuters pic
Rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a collapsed building in Mumbai July 16, 2019. — Reuters pic

MUMBAI, July 14 — Rescuers today called off the search for survivors after a building collapsed during heavy monsoon rains in India’s financial capital Mumbai, killing 14 people.

Heavy monsoon rains yesterday trapped more than 40 people after the building crumbled in southern Mumbai’s congested Dongri area, with rescuers and volunteers struggling to conduct their search among the narrow lanes.

Disaster management spokesman Tanaji Kamble told AFP that 14 people, including four women and three children, lost their lives in the collapse.

India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said a woman was pulled alive from the rubble earlier today, although her young children died.

“We rescued 28-year-old Alima Indrasi with her two children early on Wednesday morning,” India’s National Disaster Response Force spokesman Sachidanand Gawde told AFP.

“She has sustained injuries but is undergoing treatment and her children did not survive.”

The plight of the residents in the 100-year-old building, which was due to be redeveloped, has highlighted the perilous state of Mumbai’s ageing infrastructure.

The tragedy is the second collapse to hit Mumbai in two weeks and the third in Maharashtra state.

A wall collapsed in the city killing 30 people in July, and 15 died in the nearby city of Pune when another wall gave way the previous month.

Building collapses in Mumbai, home to around 20 million people, are common during the monsoon season with rickety structures buckling under the weight of continuous rain.

Across South Asia, torrential downpours have swept away homes, triggered landslides and claimed at least 200 lives.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday tweeted his condolences to the victims’ families, describing the incident as “anguishing”. — AFP

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