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India building collapse: Rescuers search for Mumbai survivors

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A human chain of rescuers is searching for survivors a day after a building collapsed in the Indian city of Mumbai, killing 12 people and trapping dozens.

Officials say rescue efforts have been hampered by a warren of old streets which prevent access by heavy vehicles.

Among those who died in the collapse are three children. Nine other people were injured and are in hospital.

Such disasters are not uncommon in Mumbai, which has thousands of old, dilapidated buildings.

Rescuers are facing a huge challenge because Dongri – in the south of the city, where the building was located – is a web of cramped, narrow lanes, hemmed in by run-down buildings.

Officials say fire crews and ambulances could not even reach the site because the lane was too narrow. So they relied on a human chain of fire-fighters and local volunteers to get material to the building and carry the injured and the dead away from it.

“Tandel street, where the building stood, is so narrow that only one person can walk through it comfortably at a time,” says BBC Marathi’s Mayuresh Konnur.

Rescuers worked through much of the night looking for people trapped by the debris.

On Tuesday, fire-fighters were retrieving a body from the under the rubble when they discovered an outstretched hand. That’s how they found and saved 23-year-old Zinat Salmani and her daughter. She was trapped under an iron beam, wooden doors and a gas cylinder. They are now recovering in hospital.

Some 15 families were living in the Kesarbai building when it came down early on Tuesday, police said.

BBC

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