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Building collapses in Mumbai, killing ten and trapping dozens inside

Posted: 2:55 PM, Jul 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-16 14:55:58-04

A four-story building has collapsed in the Indian city of Mumbai, killing at least ten people and leaving up to 25 trapped inside.

The building collapsed in the Dongri neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon, said Tanaji Kamble, a spokesman for Mumbai’s civic authority.

Sabiya Nisar Shaik, 25, Abdul Sattar Kalu Shaik, 55, Muzamil Mansoor Salmani, 15, Saira Rehan Shaikh, 55, and six others died in the incident, Kamble said. One of the victims is a young child, he said.

Local and federal agencies have been mobilized for search and rescue efforts, including Mumbai police and firefighters, and three teams from the National Disaster Response Force. Nine people have been rescued so far, with eight of them still being treated at nearby hospitals.

Adjacent buildings are also in dangerous conditions, and residents inside are being evacuated, said Mumbai fire brigade chief Prabhat Rahangale.

Maryam Abdul Kareem, 67, who lives across from building, told CNN that she watched the building crumble from her balcony.

“The building collapsed in front of my eyes … it completely collapsed to the ground.”

The cause of the incident has not yet been determined. A developer had been appointed and approved to redevelop the 100-year-old building, but it remains unclear whether that contributed to the collapse, said Maharashtra state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

“Our main focus at the moment is to rescue the people trapped under the debris. After that we’ll focus on investigation,” he added.

In 2017, Mumbai’s civic authority issued a notice declaring the building unsafe to live, according to Kamble.

Ibrahim Shaikh told CNN that his relative, Abdul Sattar, had died in the collapse. Shaikh said that Sattar and his family had previously been alerted to issues in the building.

“They were given the notice that the building was unsafe. But along with the notice, they (officials) should have given them an alternative. Where will they go and live? Once they get the notice, should they go and live on the streets? They have small kids, where will they go?” he said.

Images and videos on social media show the street covered with rubble, with rescue workers and volunteers clearing the debris.

Local resident Mohammed Ifftekar told CNN that he arrived within 15 minutes of the incident and had volunteered to help people who had been trapped inside.

“We heard this sound in the neighborhood, we came running and we just heard screams. To rescue the trapped people, we ourselves removed stones and cleared the debris,” he said.

The collapse comes just weeks after Mumbai faced devastating floods that left 43 dead . Heavy, sudden monsoon rains pummeled the state of Maharashtra, washing away houses and flooding transport hubs.

In Mumbai, officials have declared the storm to be the worst the city has experienced in over a decade.

The floods have since receded in the city, and rains are light on Tuesday — but further north , the states of Assam and Bihar are battling floods and landslides, with over 6.7 million people directly affected. Homes have been destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of people have evacuated to temporary shelters.