Relaymedia

Two Toddlers Pulled Out Alive from Deadly Mumbai Building Collapse

( [email protected] ) Apr 05, 2013 03:37 PM EDT
Two toddlers were pulled out alive late Thursday to cries of "Allahu akbar" (God is greater) and cheers and clapping, an AFP photographer at the scene said.
An unidentified toddler who survived the building collapse recovers at a hospital in Thane. (AFP: Punit Paranjpe)

At least 45 people were killed and 70 injured when a seven-story building under construction collapsed Thursday evening in a town near Mumbai.

Among the dead were seven women and nine children.

While rescuers searched using diggers and steel cutters, two toddlers were pulled out alive late Thursday to cries of "Allahu akbar" (God is greater) and cheers and clapping, an AFP photographer at the scene said.

The building, located in Thane on the outskirts of Mumbai, was illegally built and police are blaming the developers for the deaths. And local police commissioners said they are looking for two builders.

Built on protected forest land, the collapsed building was poorly constructed because of uncertainties of the fate of such buildings, said Mr. Malvi, a public relation officer of Thane Municipal Corporation.

Authorities says they had twice warned the builders that action would be taken to demolish the construction.

Many of the victims in Thane are believed to be migrants who had come to Mumbai to work on building sites. Their wives and children often were brought to live on-site with them.

Indian authorities are struggling to combat illegal constructions. Because of the booming economy and rising real estate prices. many unauthorized multi-story structures were built on the outskirts of cities and towns.

In February, the collapse of a flyover bridge being built at Mumbai's main airport killed three people and injured another seven.

In one of the worst such accidents of recent years, 69 people died and more than 80 were injured in November 2010 in New Delhi where a residential building under construction collapsed.