At least five dead in India building collapse

At least five people died and several others were trapped when a four-storey apartment block collapsed Wednesday in the western Indian city of Vadodara, officials said.

The government-built block "caved in" at about 4:00 am (2230 GMT) in the city's Manjalpur area, senior administrator Vinod Rao said by telephone.

Rescuers in Vadodara, which is about 110 kilometres (70 miles) from Ahmedabad, had so far retrieved eight people from the debris of the building, which had 14 apartments.

"There were 15 to 20 people in the building which caved in early today," Rao told AFP.

"Eight have been evacuated and five bodies found so far," he said.

Last month, a two-storey hotel collapsed in the southern city of Secunderabad, killing 13 people and injuring 17 others.

Several buildings have collapsed in India in recent months, many of them apartment blocks in the financial capital Mumbai. One collapse in April in the city killed 74 people.

The accidents have highlighted shoddy construction standards in the country, where huge demand for housing and endemic corruption often results in illegal buildings and a lack of safety inspections.