At least 30 people were crushed to death on the outskirts of Mumbai after a building collapsed while under construction, police said yesterday, but two toddlers were among more than 50 pulled from the wreckage alive.
As rescuers combed the rubble for survivors, two toddlers were pulled out alive to cries of “God is great,” and cheers and clapping, a photographer at the scene said.
The seven-story building collapsed on Thursday evening, creating a mangled heap of steel and concrete of about 8m high that rescuers and local residents struggled to cut through.
Rescue efforts continued through the night, with diggers and steel cutters employed to reach victims, who were carried away on makeshift stretchers. Limbs protruded from the wreckage in a grisly scene.
“Thirty have died and at least 55 others are injured,” said Sandeep Malvi, a spokesman for the local municipal administration in Thane, where the building collapsed about 35km from the center of Mumbai.
Among the dead were at least seven women and nine children, police said.
Local police commissioner K.P. Raghuvanshi said his force had registered a case of causing death by negligence against the builders.
“There are two builders and we are looking for them,” he told reporters at the scene.
Most of the victims were migrant laborers who travel to Mumbai to find work on building sites, earning as little as a few hundred rupees (US$6) a day. They often also bring their wives and children, who live on-site.
The local civil administration said it was probing the incident and would check other new structures built recently in the vicinity.
The Hindustan Times daily said the builders may have ignored building regulations.
“Seven floors were built in merely three to four months. It was bound to collapse due to the inferior construction material used by the builders,” the paper quoted a local disaster management official as saying.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered