Rescuers search for trapped people after an apartment building collapsed in south Mumbai. Photo: indiatoday

Rescue operations are underway after at least 19 people were killed when a five-storey residential building collapsed on Thursday morning in south Mumbai, according to media reports. At least 34 people were injured and civic officials fear that many people are trapped under the rubble.

“Forty people are believed to be stuck inside and a 43-member team is conducting rescue operations,” an official for India’s National Disaster Response Force told AFP.

A senior Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai official told PTI, “Our disaster management cell received a call at 8.40 am about the collapse. We immediately rushed fire brigade personnel to the site to rescue the trapped people.” 

Mumbai was lashed with heavy rains two days ago, which police suspect could have weakened the 100-year-old building in the city’s densely populated Bhendi Bazaar area.

A Mumbai Fire Brigade officer said, “There was a shop on the ground floor that prepares sweetmeats and snacks to be supplied to retail outlets, and had several employees working in it when the building collapsed. The workers and a lot of building residents are still trapped underneath the rubble.”

In July this year, 17 people were killed when a four-storey building collapsed in Ghatkopar, a suburb of Mumbai.

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