The failure occurred on August 24, 2020, at around 6:30 p.m. (local time) in the city of Mahad, situated in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
It is believed that 100-125 people were inside the building when it collapsed. Some managed to escape while others were trapped under the debris.
According to witnesses, the 3 top floors of the building gave way and fell apart but, the ground and the first floor remained intact providing space for people trapped to survive.
A rescue operation quickly began and persisted overnight. "We expect the people who are trapped to be on the first or second floor or in the parking of the building. We are going through the vents and are using the canines to check if they smell live victims so if someone is trapped in the debris it will indicate it to us." Anupam Srivastava, head of India's National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Maharashtra unit, stated.
Many people were pulled out of the rubble with some of them having severe injuries. According to updates, 4 are still missing, 18 have been hospitalized while 12 have been reported dead.
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, sympathized with the victims of the failure. "I pray the injured recover soon. Local authorities and NDRF teams are at the site of the tragedy, providing all possible assistance." a tweet published by the President's office mentioned.
The building consisted of 41 apartments but not all of them were occupied. Officials have not yet derived the causes of the failure but speculations suggest it was a combination of monsoon rains and inadequate structural strength.
An investigation is underway to find those responsible for the tragic incident. A report has already been filed to the police targeting those responsible for the construction of the building, however, no arrests have been made yet.
Authorities admit that building processes in India are often crude and do not always comply with safety regulations. Moreover, the heavy rainfalls during the monsoon season tend to weaken the foundations of structures and lead to failures. As a result, infrastructure damage is very common and causes severe ramifications including casualties and economic loss.
Monsoon rainfalls have affected more than 2.4 million people in certain Indian states since May 2020. Floods and landslides have resulted in evacuations and have affected agriculture. In early August, at least 63 people died after a rainfall-induced landslide struck in southern India.