Rescuers find five alive, over 30 hours after India building collapse

By: AFP      Published: 08:45 PM, 22 Sep, 2020
Rescuers find five alive, over 30 hours after India building collapse

Emergency workers rescued five more people from the rubble of a collapsed apartment block in western India Tuesday, more than 30 hours after the building came crashing down, killing 20, officials said.

Recovery teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), aided by sniffer dogs, are still searching for survivors buried under layers of brick and concrete after the three-storey block collapsed on Monday in the town of Bhiwandi, near Mumbai.

"So far we have rescued 25 people. Total death toll stands at 20," NDRF commandant Ithape Pandit told AFP.

The latest five survivors pulled from the wreckage were "grievously hurt," Pandit said, adding they had been taken to nearby hospitals for treatment. 

NDRF director general Satya Narayan Pradhan tweeted that he expected the toll to increase, with "more (bodies) likely under debris".

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but building collapses are common during India's June-September monsoon season, with old and rickety structures buckling after days of non-stop rain.