Building collapses in Mumbai; 11 dead, others trapped

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Authorities are scrambling to rescue survivors after a six-storey building collapsed in a working-class neighborhood of Mumbai Thursday morning.

It said 34 people trapped inside the building could be rescued.

"We also want redevelopment of our building, but developers or government should make alternate arrangements until redevelopment work completes or it should pay rent", said Ati Allah, 60, whose grandfather bought a small room more than 100 years back in a neighbouring old building. Mumbai building collapsed, is an accident of the Bhendi Bazaar area. Ten fire tenders, 90 NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), dog squad, two rescue vans and several ambulances are specialised for the incident.

The heavy rainfall has paralyzed the city, as public transportation and airports were shut down Tuesday due to extreme flooding.

The building had housed nine families in apartments above a first-floor nursery school, but the collapse occurred before the toddlers had arrived for the day, police said.

Rescue workers with India's National Disaster Response Force said that up to 20 people were still feared to be trapped in rubble from the building, which is located in Bhendi Bazaar, a densely populated residential neighbourhood where many structures are almost a century old. Police suspect that heavy rain in the Mumbai city could have weekend the building which is located in Dongri neighborhood. The building was 117 years old.

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Some residents in the area said people had not been given proper details of what type of new housing they would be provided, making them reluctant to leave.

Bhendi Bazaar is in the south of the city, which has more than 16,000 buildings built before the 1940s; 791 of these were identified as unsafe in a pre-monsoon survey by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Sky News reported. The phenomenon is not uncommon in India during the monsoon months, which run from June to September.

"MHADA notices dated March 28 and May 20, 2011, declaring the building dilapidated, were issued along with an offer of transit accommodation to the remaining tenants and occupants", it said.

"A 43-member team is conducting rescue operations", the NDRF official said.

Construction experts blame the lax administration and corruption for flouting building rules, which often result in using poor quality materials, inadequate supervision and poor safety standards for workers. Among other cities, Mumbai has also been receiving unprecedented rains in this time of the year resulting in many deaths. Earlier in July, four-storey building in Ghatkopar in which 17 people died.

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