RESCUE workers in Mumbai frantically searched for survivors beneath the rubble on the morning after a building collapse killed at least 11 people, including eight children, following the first downpour of the monsoon season.
Resident Mohammed Rafiq Siddiqui said he had lost nine family members when a four-story tenement block came down on the adjoining building where he lived late on Wednesday (9) evening.
“I left home at 10.30 pm to fetch some milk, but by the time I came home the building had collapsed,” said Siddiqui.
“People came to help us when the building collapsed, the police came, but they couldn’t do anything,” he said as he stood in the narrow lane where relatives had gathered, desperately hoping that rescuers would find someone alive.
Eight injured people were taken to hospitals, officials said.
Of the injured, six were in stable condition, with one 30-year-old woman admitted to hospital in critical condition.
“Three persons are still suspected to be trapped and the search operation is on to find them,” Prabhat Rahangdale from the Mumbai city authority told the Indian Express daily.
Wednesday was the first day of heavy rains in Mumbai, as the monsoon moved up India’s west coast, and almost every year some buildings collapse in the densely-populated city, due to their poor construction,
Mumbai and its suburbs were likely to receive moderate to heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours, the weather department said in a daily bulletin.
Collapses of poorly constructed buildings are common during the monsoon, which officially hit India’s financial capital on Wednesday bringing widespread flooding and traffic chaos.