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Death toll in building collapse in western India rises to 20, rescue continues

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-09-22 14:19
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National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) officials search for survivors as people help clear the rubble after a three-storey building collapsed in Bhiwandi, on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, September, 21 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

MUMBAI -- The death toll rose to 20 in the residential building collapse at Bhiwandi, 38 km from Mumbai, India as the rescue operation continues for second day on Tuesday.

Almost 30 hours after the building collapsed on Monday morning, civic officials said that 20 to 25 more people are still feared trapped.

So far, 25 injured persons have been admitted to hospitals while around 20 people were rescued by locals immediately after the building collapsed.

"There was a power loom at the ground floor of the building where some workers are believed to be asleep when the building caved in. As per details given by local people, 20 to 25 people are still trapped inside the debris," said Milind Palsule, public relation officer of the local civic body.

Bhiwandi, a textile hub with the largest power looms in India, has off-late turned into a logistics hub with several e-commerce companies having their warehouses there to cater to Mumbai's consumer demand.

The 43-year-old building had 40 apartments and nearly 150 persons were residing there, according to civic officials.

National Disaster Response Force, which is undertaking rescue and relief operations along with local administration, is now working in shifts.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah had expressed their condolence on the unfortunate incident.

Building collapses in India happen more often in the monsoon season during the June-September period with torrential rains. Last month, over a dozen people died after a building collapsed in the industrial town of Mahad, 165 km south of Mumbai.

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