UK & World News

  • 1 July 2014, 15:40

Seven Pulled Out Alive From Collapsed Building

Search teams have rescued seven more people from the rubble of a building, three days after it collapsed in India.

A number of others were believed to be still trapped in the debris following Saturday's disaster which killed at least 29 people.

There is an enormous pile of broken slab, twisted iron girders and concrete dust at the site where the 11-storey apartment block was partially built.

A total of 26 people have been successfully rescued from the scene in a suburb of Chennai.

Hundreds of rescue workers, wearing hard hats and breathing masks, were set to continue searching for at least another day.

They expected to find more bodies, as rescuers said the foul smell of death was becoming overpowering.

Disaster response official Sandeep Rai Rathore said: "As a rescuer, we don't lose hope.

"It will take time ... Removing the debris layer by layer is very difficult."

One of the survivors, a 27-year-old man named Mahesh, reportedly indicated there were "several" people still alive under the mass of concrete, raising hopes among rescuers and families.

Rescue teams were listening for faint cries and thuds coming from the debris to guide their search, but by Tuesday evening no sounds were heard, Mr Rathore said.

Police have arrested six construction company officials for alleged criminal negligence and violation of building codes.

The collapse came only hours after a dilapidated apartment block crumbled in the capital New Delhi, killing 10 people, including five children.

Building collapses are common in the country, where high housing demand and lax regulations have encouraged builders to cut corners, use sub-standard materials or add unauthorised floors.

Last September more than 50 people were crushed to death when a five-storey building came down in India's financial capital Mumbai.