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Building collapses in Pak, up to 15 trapped

Written by: Staff

Islamabad, Aug 31: A nine-storey building damaged in an earthquake in Pakistan last year collapsed today, trapping up to 15 people, police said.

The building in the northern hill town of Murree had been a hotel before the October 8 earthquake but had been turned into apartments. It collapsed at around 0300 hrs but police said they did not know why.

''About 11 to 15 people are trapped inside the building,'' senior police official Sajid Kiyani told Reuters from the scene.

Last year's earthquake killed about 73,000 people in northern Pakistan and destroyed and damaged buildings across the region.

Building regulations are weak and often not enforced in Pakistan and and many buildings damaged but still standing after the quake are being used.

One of the trapped people had managed to make a phone call for help, police said. All of the people in the building were believed to be relatives of the owner, visiting the resort town for a wedding.

Soldiers, police and rescue teams were at the site.


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