Mumbai building collapse toll shoots to 25

Mumbai, Sep 28 (IANS) The death toll in Friday's collapse of a four-storey building here shot up to 25, with 32 people injured, including four who are serious, officials said Saturday.

The death toll could increase as at least another dozen people remain trapped below the debris, officials of the BMC Disaster Control said.

Till now, 20 people were rescued without injuries and search operations are underway on a war footing to save many more feared trapped under the rubble, said an official of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Disaster Control unit.

Situated near the Dockyard Road, south Mumbai, the 33-year-old building was a civic employees' staff quarters, said an official of the chief minister's office.

The building, which housed around 21 families, suddenly collapsed 5.45 a.m Friday, catching the sleeping residents unaware, the official added.

The 28-flat building, of which seven were unoccupied, and a ground floor warehouse was declared "extremely dilapidated" a few years ago.

Last month, it was surveyed by a BMC team which recommended urgent repairs after shifting the families living there.

Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu is supervising the relief operations with top BMC and fire brigade officials, and announced a compensation of Rs.2 lakh to the families of each of the deceased and free treatment of the injured in civic hospitals.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan who visited the crash site Friday night promised strict action against those responsible for the tragedy and announced an aid of Rs.1 lakh to the families of the deceased.

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