At least two people were killed and more are feared trapped after an under-construction building collapsed onto a residential complex outside Delhi, officials said Wednesday.
Emergency workers sifting through piles of iron and concrete overnight pulled out two bodies Wednesday morning from the site in Greater Noida, a satellite town east of the Indian capital.
“We have no concrete evidence on the number of people present in the buildings at the time of the crash,” regional chief fire officer Arun Kumar Singh said, warning the toll could rise.
Reports claiming families were living inside the residential complex when the collapse occurred Tuesday evening were not confirmed, he added.
Three people, including the land owner, have been detained by state police over the collapse of the building.
“We are questioning them to ascertain the kind of partnership they had with the builder … Strict action will be taken against those responsible,” Avnish Kumar, a Greater Noida police officer, told AFP.
At least 100 emergency workers were using steel cutters and heavy machinery to clear the site and search for victims Wednesday.
The six-storey building had collapsed onto a newly constructed four-storey residential building, authorities confirmed.
Parts of Greater Noida are known for rampant and unregulated construction of residential complexes that are popular with middle-class families as housing costs skyrocket around the Indian capital region.
Many such real estate projects ignore government construction regulations, and builders cut corners by using substandard material to make profits, according to reports.
Building collapses are common across India, especially during the monsoon season from late June to September.
At least 18 people died in May when a flyover collapsed in northern India, crushing vehicles and passengers under tonnes of concrete.
Last year at least 30 people were killed and a dozen injured after a 100-year-old house collapsed in western Mumbai.