NEW DELHI — A building collapsed Thursday morning during heavy rainfall in India’s commercial capital of Mumbai, killing at least seven people and injuring 15, a local official said. Rescuers continued to search into the afternoon for an unknown number of people still trapped in the rubble.
The five-story building, which was about 100 years old, came down at about 8:30 a.m. on Pakmodia Street, a busy section of the Bhindi Bazaar area in the south of the city.
Credit Punit Paranjpe/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
The building was part of a redevelopment project in the area that called for demolishing a dozen old structures, then providing housing in new buildings for the previous residents, said Atul Shah, a spokesman for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the state of Maharashtra, which includes Mumbai.
Two years ago, a private trust was given the responsibility of moving residents and beginning the renovation, but the work was never completed, Mr. Shah said. “This was sheer negligence,” he said.
The collapse is the latest in a series of disasters involving substandard buildings in the city. In July, the police in Mumbai arrested a man accused of making illegal alterations to a five-story building that collapsed, killing 17. In 2013, at least 60 people died when a decrepit building weakened by basement work collapsed in the city.
Such catastrophes have been linked to the weak enforcement of regulations and dangerous structural modifications made to compensate for a shortage of housing space.