Death toll in India building collapses rises to 38

Death toll in India building collapses rises to 38
# 01 July 2014 18:52 (UTC +04:00)

Officials said on Tuesday that the number of fatalities from the disaster on the outskirts of the southern city of Chennai has risen to 28, and emergency workers have pulled out three more survivors from the rubble.

Karuna Sagar, a senior officer with the Tamil Nadu state police force, said the three latest survivors were rescued overnight as hundreds of workers toiled round the clock.

"Three people have been pulled out alive. One late at night and two others early this morning. They have been taken to the hospital," he noted.

Sagar added, "There may be another 15 to 20 people trapped, but rescue efforts are in progress and going according to plan."

Hundreds of rescue workers, including personnel from India's National Disaster Response Force, are working with cutters, shovels and other equipment to search for survivors.

D. Chandran, a state administration officer, said that a total of 26 survivors have been rescued since Saturday night but he indicated that the operation was drawing to a close.

"The search is still on. We are trying to do everything to save people. With a lot of debris removed, search will become faster and [rescue efforts] will likely close before end of today,” he stated.

At least six people, including construction company officials, have been arrested in connection with the building collapse near Chennai. More than 70 workers were in the under-construction 11-story building when it toppled in heavy rain late on Saturday.

Earlier on Saturday, a crumbling and run-down four-story building came down in the capital New Delhi, killing 10 people, including five children and three women.