World

At least 4 dead, dozens trapped in Mumbai building collapse

MUMBAI : An old four-storey building collapsed in Mumbai, India, yesterday, trapping more than 30 people in the rubble, with at least four confirmed dead, a fire department official said.

It was the second such collapse around Mumbai in less than 10 days. Torrential rains that lash the city during the monsoon often destabilise older or badly constructed structures.

"With the input provided by neighbours, we estimate more than 30 could be trapped," said the official, adding that rescue operations were hampered by narrow lanes.

A Reuters witness said residents were helping with rescue efforts and those injured were being carried by hand to nearby ambulances that were unable to access the site.

Mr Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister of Maharashtra state, said based on initial information, around 15 families were living in the building, which he said dated back 100 years.

He said the focus was on rescue efforts, but the government would open an investigation. Police said at least seven people were taken to hospital.

Other parts of South Asia were not spared either.

At least five children drowned in Bangladesh on Monday, taking the toll in the country to 34, including 18 hit by lightning and seven who drowned after their boat capsized in choppy waters.

Hundreds of thousands have been marooned by flood waters, with one of the major Himalayan rivers, the Brahmaputra, over a metre above the "danger level", officials said.

In Nepal, at least 78 people have died and 16,000 families displaced. Images showed rescuers using inflatable dinghies to evacuate families trapped in flooded houses. - REUTERS, AFP

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