At least 11 people have been killed after a residential building collapsed in the western Indian city of Mumbai. Rescue efforts are underway as more people are feared trapped in the debris in Malad area, officials say.
An investigation has been ordered but a minister said heavy rains could have caused the collapse on Wednesday night. Building collapses are not uncommon in India, especially during the monsoon season.
Officials said they have evacuated other dilapidated buildings in the area as heavy rains are likely to continue in the coming days. The city has been put on high alert because the rains are also causing water logging in several areas.
Police said that 18 people were pulled from the debris but only seven of them survived. “Police will carry out a proper investigation and take further action,” senior officer Dilip Sawant told local media.
Eyewitnesses said the two-storey building collapsed onto smaller structures next to it.
“The incident took place around 10:15 pm. I came out after two persons asked us to leave the building. As I was rushing out, I saw three buildings, including a dairy, were demolished near our building,” Mumbai Mirror newspaper quoted a local resident as saying.
Maharashtra state minister Aslam Shaikh said that rescue efforts will continue to look for survivors who could still be trapped under the rubble.
“Buildings have collapsed due to rain. Rescue operation is underway. Injured people have been shifted to the hospital. Debris of the buildings is being removed to see if more people are stuck under it,” Mr Shaikh said.
Smaller incidents such as wall collapses have been reported from other parts of the city, but there have been no reports of injuries so far. Weather experts say heavy rains will continue to lash the city over the next few days and low-lying areas will be at risk of flooding.