At least three people have died after a five-storey building has collapsed this morning in Mumbai’s Bhendi Bazaar area. Four people have been rescued, but over 30 are still feared trapped, a police official said as rescue operations continued.
One body was pulled out from the rubble and a second victim was later declared dead at the hospital, police said.
More than two dozen people were living in the old and dilapidated Arsiwala building on Maulana Shaukat Ali Road in the busy marketplace.
Rescue teams have been rushed to the accident site. A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is at the spot as are 10 fire engines. The building is in a congested lane, but the police have cordoned the area around it.
A municipal officier said they received a call that the building had collapsed at 8.40 am. “We immediately rushed fire brigade personnel to the site to rescue the trapped people. We fear that several people are trapped under the debris,” the official said.
The building collapsed two days after Mumbai was lashed by its heaviest rain in 12 years on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear whether the building was on a list of precarious structures compiled by the local municipal body.
Police, however, suspect that the heavy rains in the city could have weakened the building, which is located in city’s Dongri neighborhood, an area full of narrow streets with closely packed buildings, some nearly a century old.
Last month, 17 people were killed when a four-storey building collapsed in an eastern suburb of Mumbai.