Aug. 31 (UPI) — At least 18 people died when a six-story building weakened by monsoon rains collapsed in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, officials said.
Another 50 people may be trapped inside the 117-year-old residential building. It housed a daycare center for pre-school children on its ground floor, and fell about 20 minutes before the center was to begin its day at 9 a.m.
Suspecting gas leakage, police cut off gas and electricity to the building and to surrounding structures in Mumbai’s Bhendi Bazaar area.
The collapse came as Mumbai recovers from heavy monsoon rains on Tuesday that flooded the city.
The collapsed building had an unstable foundation and was vulnerable to extreme rainfall, India Today reported.
The city of over 18 million people has many old buildings in need of repair. At least 10,000 buildings in Mumbai are over 70 years old, and residents continue to dwell in them despite municipal notices regarding their safety.
A 2017 survey by the Brihamumbai Municipal Corp., the civic body governing the city, identified 617 it regarded as unsafe. Of those, only 112 were vacated.
The Maharashtra state government ordered an investigation into the collapse of the building.