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Sunday 18 August 2019

Bodies recovered after monsoon causes building collapse

Several people remain unaccounted for after the collapse in Himachal Pradesh state.

Rescuers look for survivors (AP)
Rescuers look for survivors (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Eleven soldiers were among a dozen people killed when a three-storey building collapsed after monsoon rains struck a hilly area of northern India.

Officials said rescuers are looking for up to three people still unaccounted for after Sunday’s collapse.

Fire officials said the dead included 11 army soldiers who were having a party in a ground floor restaurant in the building when it collapsed. One civilian was also killed.

Several soldiers were among the 31 people rescued after the collapse occurred in Solan, a town in Himachal Pradesh state. The area is 195 miles north of New Delhi.

Monsoon season often causes problems with some structures (AP)

More than 70 rescuers and 40 fire officers have been clearing the rubble, using diggers and drills.

One rescued soldier said the building collapsed in a very short space of time.

Another injured person, Rakesh Kumar, told the Press Trust of India that dozens of soldiers and other customers were in the building, along with restaurant workers.

Mr Kumar said: “We thought it was a quake and did not know how the building collapsed. We were trapped under the debris.

“I remained trapped for about 10-15 minutes before some people rescued me.”

Building collapses are common in India during the June-September monsoon season, when heavy rains weaken the foundations of poorly-built structures.

PA Media

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