Mumbai, August 13 : At least six people are feared dead and about twenty-three seriously injured in the collapse of a 72-year old building in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Two women and two children are among the dead.
Four-storey building of Datta Apartments, situated in congested Bhindi Bazaar area of the city collapsed at 5.30 a.m.
"The incident happened at 5.30 in the morning. Our police team reached the spot the moment we received the information. Fire brigade was called and rescue operation began without delay. Till now 28 people have been taken out from the debris, out of which 23 are injured and five have died as per the information that we have received," Ramrao Pawar, Deputy Commissioner of Police told reporters earlier in the day.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh visited the site and declared compensation for the victims.
"Families who have lost their loved ones in the incident will be given Rs. one lakh. And the ones who are injured will given compensation between 25,000-50,000 rupees as per the government's scheme. Enquiry will be conducted and legal action taken against people found guilty," Deshmukh told reporters.
Deshmukh added that the survivors will be taken to transit camps and development plans for these building have been prepared.
Authorities said there are chances that more people are trapped inside the rubble and death toll may rise.
The cause of the collapse was not immediately known. But the old building may not have withstood the heavy downpour that has disrupted normal life in Mumbai.
Old and poorly constructed buildings often collapse in Mumbai, especially during the monsoons. Residents blame the civic authorities for being lax in enforcing stringent safety codes.
More than 500 buildings in south Mumbai have been declared dangerous since 2005 floods.