Rescuers are desperately searching for survivors after a building collapsed in Mumbai, India’s financial capital. The death toll has risen to over a dozen, with many more thought to be still trapped inside.

Firefighters and rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a collapsed building in Mumbai (Reuters/S. Andrade)

A 117-year-old condemned building collapsed in Mumbai on Thursday, trapping up to 30 people. Police confirmed that at least 16 people had been killed, while one report puts the death toll at 21.

Some 13 people have reportedly been rescued and are recovering in hospital, with six firemen also injured in the six-storey building, the chief fire official said.

About 200 police and fire personnel sorted through the debris. The injured were taken to the nearby J.J. Hospital in the south of the city while locals joined a 43-member National Disaster Response Force team in picking through piles of debris in a desperate hunt for survivors.

Police had yet to determine what caused the collapse near Crawford market, an area where Many Muslims live.

The building gave way in the early morning after the city suffered two days of torrential rain.

“We are still on the lookout for more missing persons and the number may go up,” Santosh Kadam, spokesman for disaster control in Thane, told news agency AFP.

The building housed a sweet shop warehouse on the ground floor, and cramped apartments on the upper floors.

More background

– Heavy monsoon rains have inundated India, Bangladesh and Nepal in recent weeks, killing more than 1,200 people in floods.

– Building collapses are commonplace in India, especially during the monsoon season.

– Mumbai in particular has suffered a host of deadly incidents in recent years, mainly due to aging and poorly-constructed buildings.

– The collapse is the second in Mumbai in just over one month. In late July, after 17 people were killed when a four-storey
building collapsed after suspected unauthorized renovations.

– In 2013, the city suffered one of its worst housing disasters when 60 people died after a residential tower collapsed.

Floods in India, Nepal

The government gave final notice for the building’s demolition in May 2016, but some families had refused to leave, according to Devendra Fadnavis, the chief minister of the state of Maharashtra.

jh/kms (AFP, Reuters, AP, dpa)

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