Up to 200 people are feared to be trapped under the rubble of a building which has collapsed in a city south of Mumbai in India.
One person was reported dead but hundreds, including children, remained trapped after the five-storey housing block collapsed in heavy monsoon rains in Maharashtra state.
Three teams from India’s National Disaster Response Force are at the site in the city of Mahad, with The Times of India reporting that 60 people have been rescued so far.
The authorities are yet to give a reason for the building collapse, which happened at around 19:00 IST (14:30 GMT), although these incidents are relatively commonplace in India where construction companies often ignore safety regulations and use substandard materials to cut costs.
Rickety structures are most vulnerable during the heavy monsoon rains and on Saturday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued a “red alert” for extremely heavy rain in parts of Maharashtra.
The state has so far received around 16 percent more rainfall than average since the monsoon season began in June, according to the IMD, which could have weakened the building’s structure.
A police superintendent told The Times of India that the building began to shake at around 18:00 IST (13:30 GMT) which caused some of the 250 residents to vacate their flats.
“The two wings of the ground-plus-five storeyed Tariq Garden building were fully occupied. Around 25 people managed to come out when the building started shaking," he said.
India’s Home Minister Amit Shah said the incident was “tragic” and he was praying for the safety of the victims."