The death toll from a building under construction which collapsed in India’s financial centre Mumbai rose to 72 on Saturday, as a injured woman trapped for 36 hours was freed from the rubble of the illegal and half-constructed building.
Rescue workers searched through the rubble using cranes and bulldozers after the seven-storey building collapsed “like a pack of cards” on Thursday evening, officials and witnesses said.
A shortage of cheap homes in Asia’s third-largest economy has led to a rise in illegal construction by developers who use substandard materials and shoddy methods in order to offer rock-bottom rents to low-paid workers.
“The building collapsed like a pack of cards within three to four seconds,” said Ramlal, a local resident. “It just tilted a bit and collapsed,” he said. Residents said labourers paying rent of around $5 a day had lived in the building.
The building, which was in a forested area in the city of Thane, had been made using poor materials and without proper approvals, said Sandeep Malvi, a spokesman for licensing authority the Thane Municipal Corporation.
According to him, 72 people had been killed and 36 injured had been admitted into local hospitals. “There may still be more bodies inside,” Malvi added. “The rescue is still going on.”
As the sun rose on Saturday, around 100 workers from the national disaster relief agency continued to use jackhammers and other equipment to cut through the pile of metal and concrete.
The woman dragged from the building on Saturday was found after workers heard her voice and used camera eqiupment to pinpoint her location under the rubble. A 10-month old infant was also pulled from the debris on Friday.
The Deputy Municipal Commissioner of the area has been suspended following the collapse, which the state chief minister said was due to the building being built illegally, local media reported.
Police has grown the search for the builders who would be charged with culpable homicide in connection with the disaster.
“Unauthorised constructions are a product of unavailability of affordable housing,” said Lalit Kumar Jain, president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers of India.
A sharp rise in property prices in densely populated Mumbai over the past five years has put housing out of reach for tens of thousands of lower earners, many of whom moved to the city in search of jobs, and who now sleep on the streets or in slums.
In 2012, India’s urban housing shortage was estimated at nearly 19 million households, according to a report by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.
US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19
President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.
The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.
Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.
He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.
Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP
Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.
The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.
This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.
It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.
Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.
Today, we witnessed the swearing-in of His Excellency Mr. Bah N'daw and Colonel Assimi Goita as President and Vice President of Mali's Transition Govt. The #Ecowas mediation team congratulates these new Malian leaders and wish them success.
– GEJ pic.twitter.com/TQ9kinviQN
— Goodluck E. Jonathan (@GEJonathan) September 25, 2020
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