At least 70 people could be trapped in the collapse of a five-story building late Monday in the western Indian town of Mahad, police said.
“Fifteen injured people were rescued and taken to hospital,” police in Mahad (120 km south of Bombay) added in a statement. The building had 47 apartments.
The causes of the accident were not immediately established, but collapses of buildings are common in India during the monsoon season (June to September). Torrential rains undermine the foundations of buildings and weaken them.
Help, including dog teams, were dispatched to the scene, the Indian Disaster Response Force said in a statement.
Television footage showed residents and police searching the rubble for survivors.
The building was ten years old and had been erected on “weak” foundations, former Mahad MP Manik Motiram Jagtap told TV9 Marathi, adding: “it has collapsed like a house of cards. It is a frightening situation ”.
The monsoon plays a major role in South Asia for agriculture. But it also causes many deaths and large-scale destruction, including flooding and building collapses.
In 2020, the monsoon has already claimed the lives of some 1,200 people, including more than 800 in India alone.