Seven killed in India hotel collapse
Part of a two-storey hotel collapsed in the southern Indian city of Secunderabad, killing at least seven restaurant workers and injuring 15 others, local police officials told AFP.
Rescue workers were searching through tonnes of rubble for those still trapped after the incident in Andhra Pradesh state, local police official Srinivasan, who goes by one name, told AFP.
"Seven persons have been found dead so far after a nearby hotel collapsed early this morning, we are still trying to clear the rubble and find more people," Srinivasan said.
Nearly 25 people were working at the City Light Hotel, located on a busy road in Secunderabad, when the kitchen wall gave way, burying staff under debris, local police official B. Surender told AFP.
Fifteen people were admitted to hospital, five of them with serious injuries, Surender said. It was unclear how many people were still trapped under the rubble.
"The building was very old and the walls showed cracks, according to people working nearby," he added.
Rescue workers used diggers, cranes and electric cutters to try to clear the debris, as family members of the hotel workers waited at the site for news.
Several buildings have collapsed in India in recent months, many of them apartment blocks in the financial capital Mumbai, including one in April that killed 74 people.
The collapses have highlighted pervasive poor construction standards in the country, where massive demand for housing and endemic corruption often result in illegal buildings and a lack of safety inspections.