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June 30, 2014

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Over 100 people “feared trapped” in India building collapse

It is feared that more than 100 people are still trapped after a building collapsed in southern India, the BBC has reported.
At least nine people have died and several were hurt when the 12-storey building under construction came down in Chennai in heavy rain late on Saturday (28 June).
At least two construction company officials have been arrested in connection with the collapse, as rescue teams are continuing to look for survivors.
Joint collector Rekha Rani told Reuters news agency: “There are approximately 132 labourers who are under the debris and approximately 100 of them belong to southern Andhra Pradesh province.”
At least 26 people have been rescued so far, and it was not clear whether Mr Rani was talking before or after the rescues took place.
Building collapses are frequent in India, with many blamed on lax safety and substandard materials. Just hours before the Chennai building collapsed, a four-storey building came down in Delhi, killing 10 people, including five children.
In January, at least 14 people died when a building under construction came down in the western state of Goa, and at least 42 people died after a four-storey building collapsed in Mumbai in September 2013.
In the search for survivors in Chennai, police have said that large pieces of rubble would have to be moved before rescue efforts could carry on.
The Times of India newspaper reported that it could take two days to reach the ground floor of the building, adding that it would be a “massive operation”.
These latest incidents have put the focus on a need for better regulation of construction in India.
While some collapses have occurred because poor quality material was used, other have been because the buildings were simply too old and residents refused to leave despite them being labelled as dangerous to live in.
Corruption is also a factor as in many cases changes to the building’s structure — like adding extra floors or breaking down walls — are permitted by authorities that have been found to have accepted bribes.

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9 years ago

Cheap overheads mean cheap standards. When are we going to wake up to the fact that if we want cheap clothes we have to accept some responsibility for the use of cheap labour and overheads in third world countries.