Mumbai building collapse death toll hits 28: official

Mumbai building collapse death toll hits 28: official
Some of the building collapses have underlined shoddy construction standards and lax building code enforcement. Rescue crew members watch as others use excavators to scour the debris for survivors at the site of a collapsed residential building in Mumbai September 28, 2013.

MUMBAI - The death toll from the collapse of a five-storey apartment block in India's financial hub Mumbai rose to at least 28, a senior official at the rescue site told AFP on Saturday.

Alok Avasthy of the National Disaster Management Authority said in a text message there were "28 dead", adding that up to 30 more people were feared pinned beneath the rubble.

Local officials said 22 families had been housed in the block owned by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai in the city's eastern suburbs.

"We have hospitalised 34 people" and "more (bodies) are buried in the rubble" Mumbai deputy police commissioner Tanaji Ghadge told AFP by telephone from the site.

The residential block collapsed at dawn Friday - marking the latest building disaster to hit the city and surrounding area.

By Friday night, rescue workers had managed to pull out nearly 50 survivors from the debris of the flattened block.

Several diggers had been pressed into action to lift some of the larger slabs of concrete, allowing teams of rescuers wielding heavy equipment to take out bodies and search for those still alive.

The Press Trust of India reported that a civic body has filed a complaint against a contractor who had allegedly made some alterations to the ground floor of the building before it collapsed.

Local authorities said that they would bear the cost of treating the injured and that compensation would be paid to the families of the deceased.

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai said Friday that some of its employees and their families were housed in the structure and had been asked to leave earlier this year.

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