- Five-storey building collapses in Mumbai's Bhendi Bazaar
- 32 dead, over 10 feared trapped, many rescued
- Inquiry will be conducted in the accident, says minister
"There was a massive bang. We couldn't see anything due to the dust and smoke. Once the dust settled, we realised it was a building collapse," said Amina Sheikh a resident of the Bhendi Bazaar area, a famous and busy marketplace in one of Mumbai's most historic districts.
Smoke rose from the ruins. Desperate relatives of those trapped pleaded with rescuers to help find their loved ones after getting phone calls from trapped survivors. About 200 rescuers in hard hats hammered at concrete slabs with hammers to reach underneath, sorting through the debris.
The police had yet to determine what caused the collapse. Municipal officials said they received a call at 8:40 in the morning that the dilapidated Arsiwala building on Maulana Shaukat Ali Road had crashed. Nine families lived in crammed rooms in the higher floors of the building, which also housed six warehouses on the ground floor, officials said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra fadnavis visited the collapse site earlier in the day. He also announced a compensation of Rs 50,000 to the relatives of those who lost their lives.
Only a few on this year's list of unsafe buildings in Mumbai have been evacuated or demolished, and more than 500 of them are still occupied, news agency Reuters quoted an official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as saying.
The Maharashtra government will conduct an inquiry into the building collapse, state minister Subhash Desai said.
In July, 17 people were killed when a four-storey building crumbled during renovations.
(With inputs from agencies)