17 killed in building collapse in Pune

At least 17 people were killed when a boundary wall of a residential apartment complex collapsed and came crashing down on a cluster of huts adjacent to it in western Indian city of Pune on Saturday. The 60-feet long wall crashed on tin-roofed huts killing the occupants who were mostly labourers from West Bengal and Bihar, District Collector Nawal Kishore Ram told the media.

Some more people feared to be trapped inside the debris of the wall and search and rescue operations are underway at the incident site. Among the 17 deceased were nine males, four females and four children. The incident occurred early in the morning near Talab Masjid in Kondhwa locality of Pune and Naval Kishore Ram said those who died in the incident were mostly labourers from Bihar and West Bengal engaged at a construction site nearby.

He said the "negligence" of the construction company which built the wall is suspected to be the main reason behind the incident. TV footages showed several cars stuck in the debris as the wall crashed down into tin sheds next to the apartment complex, taking down the parked cars as the ground caved in. Pune Police Commissioner K Venkatesham said a team has been constituted to ascertain the reasons behind the wall collapse. "Firm action will be taken against those responsible. We will check whether proper permissions were taken and safety measures were followed," he added. Pune is experiencing heavy rains since Thursday.