Death toll from India building collapse hits nine

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NEW DELHI, July 19, 2018 (AFP) – The death toll from a collapsed apartment
block outside Delhi rose to nine on Thursday as emergency workers pulled four
more bodies from a huge pile of rubble and metal, India’s fire brigade said.

The six-storey building caved in late Tuesday and crashed into a
neighbouring building, trapping more than a dozen people, including labourers
and two families in Greater Noida, a satellite city east of Indian capital.

Five bodies were pulled out on Wednesday as nearly 150 workers using steel
cutters and drills and helped by sniffer dogs sifted through the tons of
concrete and metal.

“We have found four bodies since last night. The operation will continue
until the site is cleared,” regional chief fire officer Arun Kumar Singh told
AFP on Thursday.

Police have arrested four people, including the landowner, on charges of
manslaughter and want to question 20 others.

Hundreds of low-budget residential complexes have sprung up in recent years
in the many fast-growing satellite towns dotted around 20-million-strong
Delhi, but construction firms often cut corners with cheap materials.

Building collapses are common across India, especially during the monsoon
season from late June to September, although it was unclear whether this
latest disaster was due to recent heavy rain.

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