Rescuers from disaster agency continue to search wreckage of seven-storey block in India's financial district
The death toll from a collapsed building in India's financial centre Mumbai has risen to 72, as an injured woman trapped for 36 hours was freed from the rubble.
About 100 rescue workers from the national disaster relief agency continue to search through the wreck of the seven-storey building, using cranes, bulldozers and jackhammers to cut through the twisted metal and concrete.
"The building collapsed like a pack of cards within three to four seconds," Ramlal, a resident, told Reuters. "It just tilted a bit and collapsed," he said. Residents said labourers paying rent of around £3.28 ($5) a day lived in the building.
The building, which collapsed on Thursday evening in a forested area in the city of Thane, had been built illegally using poor materials and without proper approval, said Sandeep Malvi, a spokesman for licensing authority, the Thane Municipal Corporation.
He said 72 people had been killed in the tragedy while 36 injured had been admitted to local hospitals. "There may still be more bodies inside," Malvi told Reuters. "The rescue is still going on."
The woman dragged from the building on Saturday was found after rescue workers heard her voice and used cameras to locate her under the rubble. A 10-month-old child was pulled from the debris on Friday.
The deputy municipal commissioner of the area has been suspended following the collapse, which the state chief minister said was due to the building being built illegally.
Police said they were searching for the builders and would charge them with culpable homicide in connection with the disaster.
"Unauthorised constructions are a product of unavailability of affordable housing," said Lalit Kumar Jain, president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers of India.
A sharp rise in property prices in densely populated Mumbai over the past five years has put housing out of reach for tens of thousands of lower earners, many of whom moved to the city in search of jobs, and now sleep on the streets or in slums.
In 2012, India's urban housing shortage was estimated at nearly 19m homes according to a report by the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation.