Death toll hits 72 in India building collapse

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 6, 2013 at 12:45 am •  Published: April 6, 2013
Advertisement
;

Police with rescue dogs were searching the building, which appeared to have buckled and collapsed on itself.

Raghuvanshi said rescue workers had saved 15 people from the wreckage.

Building collapses are common in India as builders try to cut corners by using substandard materials, and as multi-storied structures are built with inadequate supervision. The massive demand for housing around India's cities and pervasive corruption often result in builders adding unauthorized floors or putting up illegal buildings.

The neighborhood where the building collapsed was part of a belt of more than 2,000 illegal structures that had sprung up in the area in recent years, said Malvi, the town spokesman.

"Notices have been served several times for such illegal construction, sometimes notices are sent 10 times for the same building," he said.

G.R. Khairnar, a former top Mumbai official, said government officials who allowed the illegal construction should be tried along with the builders.

"There are a lot of people involved (in illegal construction) — builders, government machinery, police, municipal corporation — everybody is involved in this process," he told CNN-IBN television.

The building that collapsed was illegally constructed on forest land, and the city informed forestry officials twice about it, Malvi said.

A local resident, who did not give his name, said the site was meant to hold a smaller structure and accused officials of turning a blind eye to the problem.

"They made an eight-story building of what was supposed to be a four-story building. People from the municipality used to visit the building but the builder still continued to add floors," he said.

In one of the worst recent collapses, nearly 70 people were killed in November 2010 when an apartment building in a congested New Delhi neighborhood crumpled. That building was two floors higher than legally allowed.

___

Ngashangva reported from New Delhi.