At least six people died, 20 were injured and many others were trapped in the ruins when an old hotel collapsed in the southern city of Secunderabad, an Indian police source told Efe.

The two-story City Light hotel collapsed about 6:45 a.m.

According to witnesses quoted by Indian media, there could be about 40 people among the ruins of the building and firemen and other workers are trying to rescue them.

However, the police chief in Hyderabad, the metropolitan area that includes Secunderabad, Anurag Sharma, in talking to the press reduced to 20 the number of people thought to be trapped in the rubble.

Authorities had notified the hotel owner that the building needed to be demolished, but the owner obtained a temporary suspension of that order by going to a local court, the IANS news agency said.

This type of accident is a frequent occurrence in India, given the precarious state of much of the country's infrastructure and the lack of maintenance, factors that are fed by the corruption and illegal practices that dominate the construction sector.

In April, 74 people died when an illegally constructed building in the southwestern town of Thane, near Mumbai, collapsed. EFE