July 16 (UPI) — At least two people were dead and another 40 feared trapped after a four-story building collapsed Tuesday in the Indian city of Mumbai, authorities said.
Three National Disaster Response Force teams have been deployed to the site in the Dongri neighborhood of south-central Mumbai to search for survivors, the organization said via Twitter.
According to preliminary reports, the building, located amid streets crowded with people and congested with other structures, collapsed at 11:40 a.m., NDTV reported.
The incident is being considered a “Level 2,” the second most severe under the system that gauges building collapses.
Between 40 and 50 people are believed to be trapped in the rubble, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s disaster management division said, adding that it has erected a shelter at a nearby girls’ school for those rescued.
At least two people have died from the incident, BMC said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the 100-year-old building was to be redeveloped but whether that project went forward will be investigated later.
“Right now, the focus is on rescuing those trapped in the debris.”
Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanja Barve said he is “extremely aggrieved” by the collapse.
“Mumbai police is trying its best to enable a smooth rescue operation,” he said on Twitter. “We request citizens to please cooperate and stay away from the spot to facilitate rescue operations.”
There have been reports of crowds forming a human chain to ferry debris from the site.
The collapse comes as the area has been hit with torrents of monsoon rains that have devastated northern areas of India, Nepal and Bangladesh.