At least 10 people were killed and 13 others injured after a dilapidated four-storey building collapsed in India’s financial capital Mumbai.
An entire wing of the residential building collapsed just before midnight on Monday in the city’s Kurla area. Local residents joined fire service and police officials in clearing debris and rescuing those trapped underneath the rubble as rain made their task difficult.
According to the local municipal corporation, 13 people were rescued and rushed to local hospitals, where three were declared dead. More than 20 people were believed to be trapped following the collapse.
Senior municipality official Ashwini Bhide claimed residents were handed notices for the building to be repaired and later demolished, nearly a decade ago in 2013.
Aaditya Thackeray, Maharashtra state’s environmental minister, who visited the spot, said the families had been asked to vacate the building due to its deteriorating condition, but had continued to live there.
“All four buildings [in the vicinity of the collapse] were issued notices, but people continue to live there. Our priority is to rescue everyone. We will look into the evacuation and demolition of these buildings so that nearby people are not troubled,” he said.
Following his visit, the minister urged people “residing in dilapidated accommodations to take the notice from [Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation] and other authorities seriously and vacate the premises at the earliest”.
The state government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 500,000 (£5,174) to the family of the dead and free treatment for the injured.
“The incident will be investigated & action will be taken against those responsible. A meeting has been called to ensure that such an incident doesn’t happen again,” state minister Subhash Desai told reporters.
Building collapses are common in India during the monsoon season between June and September when heavy rains weaken the foundations of poorly built and old structures.
This is the third major building collapse in the economic hub this month that led to one death in each incident.
Last year in June, at least 11 people, including eight children, were killed after a residential building collapsed in Mumbai’s Malad area.