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19 dead after collapse of building in Mumbai

By AP Reporter

Torrential rain in India has caused a five-storey apartment building to collapse in Mumbai, killing 19 people and possibly burying more than a dozen others, police have said.

Rescuers, residents and police officers managed to pull 30 injured people from the rubble, but more than a dozen were missing and feared trapped.

The building was one of thousands in Mumbai that are more than 100 years old, with foundations that have been weakened by years of heavy monsoon rains. Last month, another four-storey building toppled in the city's suburb of Ghatkopar, killing 17.

Yesterday's tragedy occurred in a congested area of Mumbai's southern Bhendi Bazaar area, following the city's heaviest rainfall in 15 years.

Authorities were advising people living in an adjacent building to vacate after it developed cracks following the early morning collapse. It was not immediately clear how many people might be trapped in the toppled building.

"We are asking people to check if their family members are safe and accounted for," officer Manoj Sharma said.

The building had housed nine families in apartments above a first-floor nursery school, but the collapse occurred before the toddlers had arrived for the day, police said.

Hours later, rescuers used earth-moving machines as they searched for survivors.

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