Death toll rises to 72 in India building collapse

Posted at 3:35 PM, Apr 06, 2013

From Sumnima Udas, CNN

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) — The death toll in a building collapse in Thane, India, jumped to 72 Saturday. Among those who died when the illegal structure near Mumbai crumbled are 26 children, according to R.S. Rajesh, spokesman for India’s disaster response agency.

The gruesome succession of recovered corpses was interrupted by two hopeful moments.

A girl aged 10 miraculously crawled out of the debris Friday, CNN’s sister network CNN-IBN reported.

The child was taken to the hospital, where she was finding it difficult to open her eyes. No relative has come to claim her.

Rescuers pulled a woman alive from the rubble Friday before officially ending search and rescue operations, Rajesh said.

“We have dug beyond the basement level, and everything is now cleared; there’s nothing left,” Rajesh said.

When the structure in the town six miles north of Mumbai caved in Thursday evening, it injured an additional 62 people.

Manoj Gohad, a senior local official, told CNN sister network IBN that people were illegally occupying the first four floors of the building even though it hadn’t been completed or authorized.

Jangale said the eighth floor was still under construction when the building gave way.

Police have registered a case of culpable homicide against the builder of the structure, who is yet to be traced, according to IBN.