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India

Search for collapse survivors ends in Mumbai

After a building collapse Thursday that killed 72 people in Mumbai, India, the search for survivors has ended. The effort to find survivors had been underway for 42 hours.

Authorities announced that the search for survivors had ended on Saturday, with the current death toll at 72 people from one of the worse building collapses in India in several years. Several of those killed were children, and nearly 40 more people are being treated at the hospital.

Police officials said that 62 people had been pulled alive from the rubble of the under-construction residential building in the Thane district in Mumbai. A nine-month-old girl was among those rescued.

"The building was an unauthorized construction," Sandeep Malwi, spokesman for the Thane municipal corporation, told the AFP news agency. "We are going to investigate thoroughly into this and prepare a report."

Regulations ignored?

The builders may have additionally ignored regulations, according to The Hindustan Times. "Seven floors were built in merely three to four months," the paper quoted the local head of the disaster management cell as saying. "It was bound to collapse due to the inferior construction material used by the builders."

Most of the victims had come to Mumbai to work on building sites, earning as little as a few hundred rupees (about $6 or 4.60 euros) a day. Many of their families lived onsite as well.

In 2010, a similar collapse in New Delhi killed 69 people and injured more than 80, trapping families in the lower floors. Structures that are not built to code are relatively common in India, where new housing facilities are in high demand.

mz/slk (Reuters, AFP, AP)