August 22, 2005

India building collapse kills 10, many trapped

MUMBAI (Reuters) - A four-story residential building
collapsed in India's financial capital Mumbai early on Tuesday,
killing 10 people and leaving at least 25 trapped in the
debris, police and television news channels said.

Fire and police teams rescued 47 people from the building
in the crowded Nagpada area of central Mumbai, formerly known
as Bombay, a police officer said.

"There is a very large crowd now and the streets are very
narrow, so rescue efforts have slowed down a bit," he said.

Television news channels said between 25 to 30 people were
believed trapped in the building which had a garment-making
unit on its ground floor.

Television images showed fire and police personnel using
their bare hands to sift through the rubble.

Earlier residents of the area formed human chains to remove
the debris and help injured people before rescue teams arrived,
news channels reported.

At least 31 people were injured in the collapse which took
place shortly after 1 a.m. (1930 GMT), the police officer said.

"I believe the Mumbai Corporation had declared it unsafe
and served them a notice," he said.

Old and poorly maintained buildings sometimes collapse
during the monsoon rains in Mumbai. In July, more than 1,000
people were killed in the city and the western Maharashtra
state after record-breaking rains.