Seven killed as building collapses in India’s Surat

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At least seven bodies have been recovered from the rubble after a six-storey building collapsed in India’s Surat amid continuous rains.

The residential building housing 30 apartments was built illegally in Sachin Pali village and was mostly vacant, NDTV reports. Only five flats were rented out and tenants paid Rs 1,200 a month, according to a report.

The search operation was nightlong and seven dead bodies were recovered, Basant Pareek, chief fire officer told news agency ANI. The last body was pulled out at 6 am on Saturday, he said, adding that the rescue operation had ended.

Rescuers believe that no more residents are trapped inside the building, which was built illegally in 2017.

A woman was rescued from under the debris on Saturday, while 15 others were injured when the building came crashing down at around 2:45 pm, officials said.

Rescuers worked overnight to remove large concrete slabs that formed a mountain of debris at the site. NDRF and SDRF workers cut through the concrete to reach the trapped residents.

Five families lived in the building when it collapsed. Several residents were at work at the time but many others, who worked night shifts, were sleeping inside.

Locals said they rushed to the scene to save anyone they could from the debris. While the building was only eight years old, most flats were vacant and dilapidated, officials said.

"Around five flats were occupied, mostly by those who work in factories in this area. When rescue work started, we heard the cries of those who were trapped. We rescued a woman from the rubble and sent her to hospital," said Surat Commissioner of Police Anupam Gehlot.

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