‘Scores trapped’ in India collapse
More than 100 people are still feared trapped after a building collapsed in southern India, an official has said.
At least nine people died and several were hurt when the 12-storey building under construction toppled in Chennai in heavy rain late on Saturday.
Hours earlier, a four-storey building came down in the capital Delhi killing 10 people including five children.
India has recently seen frequent building collapses, blamed on lax safety and substandard materials.
Rescue teams with cutters and shovels are continuing to search for survivors in the rubble in Chennai, Tamil Nadu state.
“There are approximately 132 labourers who are under the debris and approximately 100 of them belong to southern Andhra Pradesh province,” joint collector Rekha Rani told Reuters news agency.
At least 26 people have so far been rescued. It is not clear whether Mr Rani was speaking before the rescues took place.
A police investigation has also been launched.
Police said larger pieces of rubble would have to be moved before rescuers could search for more survivors, adding that access to the building was difficult because of a narrow lane leading to it.
Fire service official Vijay Shekar told the Times of India newspaper that it could take two days to reach the ground floor of the building, adding that it would be a “massive operation”.
There are fears that the death toll will rise further in the Delhi building collapse
While the cause of the latest collapse is still under investigation, a lack of construction codes, leading to lax safety, is one reason for frequent collapses of buildings and other infrastructure projects in India.
In January, at least 14 people died when a building under construction came crashing down in the western state of Goa.
At least 42 people died after a four-storey building collapsed in Mumbai last September.