x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Search grows bleak in Mumbai building collapse as toll rises to 45

It is the third deadly building collapse in six months in Mumbai, which like much of India suffers from lax building inspections and corruption.

People hold vigil on Saturday at the site of a building that collapsed in Mumbai. Rajanish Kakade / AP Photo
People hold vigil on Saturday at the site of a building that collapsed in Mumbai. Rajanish Kakade / AP Photo

MUMBAI // Frantic relatives kept up a vigil on Saturday at the site of a collapsed apartment building that killed at least 45 people in Mumbai.

Rescuers found just one person alive during the day.

The cause of Friday’s cave-in was not known, but neighbourhood residents complained of builders using substandard materials – with some expressing fear that their own buildings might also fall down.

Between 83 and 89 people were in the building when it collapsed. Rescuers have pulled 33 people out of the rubble alive since the cave-in, but the searchers have not detected any signs of life recently, Alok Awasthi, a commander with the National Disaster Response Force, said. Still, he vowed that the operation would continue to search for the dozen or so people who were missing.

It was the third deadly building collapse in six months in Mumbai, which like much of India has lax building inspections and corruption that can form a deadly combination.

Rudiben Parmar sat with several weeping relatives near the rubble, waiting for news of the last of five family members who were in the building. Three – a nephew and two of his children – had already been found dead. The nephew’s wife was rescued, but the couple’s young daughter was still unaccounted for on Saturday.

Ms Parmer said she didn’t know who was to blame for the disaster, but didn’t care about anything but learning of all her relatives’ fate.

“We will be OK once all members of our family are recovered.”

* Associated Press