At least four people were killed and 17 others injured Wednesday after an under-construction building collapsed in northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, officials said.
According to officials, rescuers were trying hard to locate 30 people trapped underneath the debris of the six-storey building.
The building collapsed in the afternoon at Jajmau of Kanpur city, about 83 km southwest of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh.
“Today afternoon an under-construction building collapsed here trapping 50 people mostly labourers working there,” District administrator, Kaushal Raj Sharma told Xinhua.
“Following the collapse, we dispatched police and other teams to rescue people trapped under debris of the building. The rescuers pulled out 21 people in injured condition, out of which four succumbed and 17 were hospitalized.”
Five teams of National Disaster Response Force, state police, fire services and officials from local administration, besides locals are making efforts to rescue the trapped workers.
Authorities have also rushed in four columns of Indian army to the spot to reinforce rescue work.
The rescue operation according to Sharma was going on and would take several hours.
“The rescue teams have pressed in earth movers, gas cutters and other equipment to trace the trapped ones,” Sharma said.
Local media reports said the building belongs to Mehtab Alab, a politician affiliated with ruling Samajwadi Party in the state.
Police officials have registered a case and ordered an investigation into the building collapse.
“It is too early to predict the exact cause but it is quite apparent there was some fault in the planning,” Sharma said.
Deadly accidents due to failing infrastructure (either new or old) are common in India.
Construction experts blame the lax administration and corruption in India for flouting building rules that often results in using poor quality materials, inadequate supervision, poor safety standards for workers.