The death toll from the collapse of a five-story apartment building in the southwestern Indian metropolis of Mumbai has risen to 43, authorities said Saturday.
The building, where 21 families lived, collapsed early Friday in the city's Mazgaon district while many of its occupants were sleeping, leading rescue teams to fear that more people will be found beneath the rubble, local media reported.
According to reports cited by the local press, the building was in urgent need of renovation and repair.
The Mumbai municipal government has announced compensation of 200,000 rupees (some $3,245) for the families of the deceased, while Mayor Sunil Prabhu pledged that the full weight of justice would be brought to bear on those responsible for the tragedy.
One suspect, Ashok Mehta, the owner of a decoration company that made structural changes to the building's ground floor, has been arrested. Local police blame that renovation work for the collapse, according to India's PTI news agency.
Building collapses in urban areas are common in India due to substandard materials, poor construction practices and a near-total disregard for building codes.
Friday's collapse was the worst in Mumbai this year and comes three months after 10 people were killed in a similar incident in the city's Mahim West district.
In April, 74 people died in the collapse of a building that was being illegally constructed in the southwestern city of Thane. EFE