Ten people were killed and up to 25 are feared trapped after a three-storey residential building collapsed before dawn on Monday in western India, officials said.
The accident in the city of Bhiwandi, which neighbours India’s financial capital Mumbai, happened around 3:40am (2210 GMT on Sunday), local authorities said.
Emergency workers from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) pulled 19 people from the rubble – including two boys aged four and seven – to loud cheers from residents.
NDRF commandant Ithape Pandit said: “Total number of deaths is 10 . . . rescue operations are ongoing.”
NDRF director-general Satya Narayan Pradhan tweeted that specialist teams and sniffer dogs were trying to rescue another “20-25 feared trapped”.
An official at the Thane city authority, which oversees Bhiwandi, said more than 40 emergency workers were helping search for survivors.
Images broadcast on the NDRF’s official Twitter feed showed emergency workers combing through concrete and brick rubble with electrical wires hanging over their heads.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences via Twitter. “Praying for a quick recovery of those injured. Rescue operations are underway and all possible assistance is being provided to the affected.”
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but building collapses are common during India’s June-September monsoon, with old and rickety structures buckling after days of non-stop rain.
More than 1,200 people were killed in 1,161 building collapses across the country in 2017, the latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau show.