Ten people were killed in Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi town after a multi-storied building collapsed early on Monday, ANI reported. Another 20 to 25 people are feared trapped under the debris.
Two National Disaster Response Force teams are leading the rescue operation and have been able to rescue 25 people from the wreckage. Officials have also rescued a child from under the rubble. NDRF Director General Satya Pradhan said that more teams will join the rescue efforts.
The building, which had 40 flats, collapsed late at night while many of the residents were asleep, according to India Today. But it was not immediately clear what caused the apartment building to collapse. The power supply to the locality has been cut as an emergency measure.
The Maharashtra government announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the relatives of each of the deceased, The Times of India reported. Eight of the deceased have been identified as Fatima Babu, Fatima Kureshi, Ujeb Juber, Aska Ansari, Ansari Danish, Siraj A Ahmed Shaikh and Juber Kureshi, Mumbai Mirror reported.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the building collapse and said all possible assistance was being provided to the affected. “Saddened by the building collapse in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra,” he tweeted. “Condolences to the bereaved families. Praying for a quick recovery of those injured. Rescue operations are underway and all possible assistance is being provided to the affected.”
President Ram Nath Kovind also condoled the deaths. The loss of lives in the building collapse at Bhiwandi, Maharashtra is quite distressing,” he said. “In this hour of grief, my thoughts and prayers are with the accident victims. I wish speedy recovery of the injured. Local authorities are coordinating rescue and relief efforts.”