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Death toll hits 72 in Mumbai building collapse

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The number of people killed when a partly built apartment block collapsed on the outskirts of Mumbai has risen to 72, police said Saturday, as rescuers used bulldozers to clear debris in the hope of finding survivors.

The seven-storey structure caved in on Thursday, leaving a mangled heap of steel and concrete about eight metres (26 feet) high that rescuers and local residents struggled to cut through.

Rescue efforts continued on Saturday with bulldozers clearing the debris from the site in Thane district, about 35 kilometres (20 miles) from the centre of Mumbai.

"The death toll is now 72," Sandeep Malvi, spokesman of the Thane municipal corporation, told AFP.

The Maharashtra state government has announced a probe into the incident and suspended a top civic administrator and a police officer for dereliction of duty, local media reported.

Building collapses are a common occurrence in India, where a booming economy and rising real estate prices have led to a mushrooming of multi-storey structures, often unauthorised, on the outskirts of cities and towns.

The victims of the latest tragedy were mostly poor daily wagers working at the construction site and their families.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130406/death-toll-hits-72-mumbai-building-collapse