Search grows bleak in India building collapse
By Kay Johnson, APMUMBAI--Frantic relatives kept up a vigil Saturday at the site of a collapsed apartment building that killed at least 42 people in India's financial capital of Mumbai, as the search for survivors grew bleak. Rescuers found just one person alive during the day.
September 29, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
Between 83 and 89 people were in the building when it collapsed early Friday morning, residents said. Rescuers have pulled 33 people out of the rubble alive since the cave-in, but the searchers have not detected any signs of life recently, Alok Awasthi, local commander of the National Disaster Response Force, said Saturday. Still, he vowed that the operation would continue to search for the dozen or so people who were missing.
Rudiben Parmar sat with several weeping relatives near the rubble on Saturday, waiting for news of the last of five family members who were in the building. Three — a nephew and two of his children — had already been found dead. The nephew's wife was rescued, but the couple's young daughter was still unaccounted for Saturday morning.
The five-story building in southeast Mumbai, which housed workers for the city's government, caved in early Friday morning, trapping dozens of people.
The death toll had climbed to 42 by Saturday evening, Awasthi said.
“We are not finding any more signs of life right now, but we will continue to search until all are accounted for,” Awasthi said.
The building that collapsed was constructed in 1980, Awasthi said, adding that what caused it to fall down would be determined by an investigation.
But local residents complained of substandard materials and corruption as the root causes of such disasters.
“There should not be corruption in the building process. They should use best of the materials — then only the buildings will last,” said Sanjay Mayekar, who lives in another apartment building next to the one that fell.