>A fire service official says the death toll in the New Delhi building collapse has risen to 51.
Rajesh Kumar, a spokesman of the Delhi Fire Service, says 76 others were injured when the four-story building collapsed in an eastern neighborhood of the Indian capital.
Police and rescuers are racing to pull survivors from the debris of the building that collapsed late Monday night.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
NEW DELHI (AP) – Police and rescuers raced Tuesday to pull survivors from the debris of a four-story apartment building that collapsed in a congested neighborhood in New Delhi, killing at least 42 people and injuring at least 83 others.
The 15-year-old building housing about 200 people – mostly migrant workers and their families – collapsed Monday evening into a mountain of concrete slabs, iron rods, bricks and mortar in New Delhi’s Lalita Park neighborhood.
About 30 people were believed still trapped under the rubble, said New Delhi’s top elected official, Sheila Dikshit, and emergency efforts were hampered because fire engines had difficulty navigating the neighborhood’s narrow alleyways.
At least 42 people were killed and 83 injured, said a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Local residents who were first to arrive at the accident site used bare hands to scoop away debris until they were joined by police and firefighters, who used gas cutters to cut through the iron rods. Police brought in sniffer dogs to locate people trapped under the debris.
Residents helped carry the injured to vehicles and to transport them to nearby hospitals, as hundreds of people crowded around or peered down from rooftops of nearby buildings.
Dikshit said it was not immediately possible to say what caused the accident but said there would be an inquiry.
“The scale of the tragedy is unprecedented. I don’t think such a tragedy has taken place in Delhi in the recent past,” Press Trust of India quoted her as saying.