Three days after a residential building collapsed in the Indian city of Bhiwandi, the death toll surged to 41 on Thursday, with the recovery of 14 more dead bodies from under the rubble during the rescue operations that have been underway since Monday.
18 of the victims were children under age 15, including three toddlers. The corpses, recovered after over 50 hours, are in a horribly decomposed state, local media reported.
Located around 15 km from Mumbai, Bhiwandi is a densely populated area which is home to over 700,000 people. The collapsed building had around 40 apartments; roughly 150 people lived there.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also expressed condolences at the tragic accident that led to the deaths of innocent people.
Saddened by the building collapse in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra. Condolences to the bereaved families. Praying for a quick recovery of those injured. Rescue operations are underway and all possible assistance is being provided to the affected.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 21, 2020
More people are feared trapped or dead under the remains; the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team, along with the fire brigade, police officials and neighbours carry on with the rescue operations.
Gut-wrenching images from the site have been surfacing on social media.