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At least 90 people feared trapped after building collapses near Mumbai
24 August 2020, 19:13
At least 90 people are feared to be trapped after a five story building collapsed near Mumbai.
Police said the structure collapsed in the town of Mahad, 75 miles south of Mumbai, late on Monday night.
The building comprised of 47 flats and five floors.
The cause of the accident is not yet clear, police said, but building collapses are common during India's June to September monsoon season, with older buildings often buckling under the pressure of non-stop rain.
Mahad police told local media: "Twenty eight injured people have been rescued and taken to hospital."
India's National Disaster Response Force said in a statement that three rescue teams, armed with specialised equipment and sniffer dogs, had been deployed to the scene of the accident.
Footage on local media showed local residents and police officers combing through tin sheets and other wreckage in a desperate search for survivors.
Former Mahad legislator Manik Motiram Jagtap told the localTV that the structure was 10 years old and built on "weak" foundations.
"It fell like a house of cards," he said. "It is a scary situation."
The office of Uddhav Thackeray, chief minister of Maharashtra state, where Mahad is located, said on Twitter that he had been "in touch with local representatives in the area and assured them that all possible support will be extended for speedy rescue and relief works".
The death toll from monsoon-related disasters this year has topped 1,200, including more than 800 lives lost in India alone.