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The death toll in India climbs to 11 in two building collapses

By Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN
updated 6:09 AM EDT, Sun June 29, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Almost a dozen killed in two building collapses in India
  • A crumbling four-story building falls in New Delhi, killing 10 people
  • An 11-story structure topples in Chennai, killing one and trapping as many as 50
  • Unauthorized permits, shoddy construction among factors in collapses

(CNN) -- The death toll in India in two building collapses in different cities climbed to at least 11, with more victims trapped in the rubble, Indian officials confirmed Saturday.

A crumbling and rundown four-story building in New Delhi toppled over Saturday morning. "Ten people, including five children and three women, died," Deputy Commissioner of Police Madhur Verma said. Two others were also injured, he added.

The building was around 50 years old and housed several families. Rescue efforts were hampered by cranes in the area. Officials suspects construction work at an adjoining building could be to blame.

A second building also collapsed Saturday in Tamil Nadu state.

An 11-story structure under construction in the capital city of Chennai toppled over, killing at least one person.

Eleven have been rescued from under the debris.

"Fifty workers were believed to be present at the construction site at the time of collapse. Rescue operations are still on," said Chennai Police Commissioner Sebastian George.

The collapse in Chennai came amid heavy rains.

Unfortunately, building collapses in India are an all too common occurrence.

An official with the New Delhi Municipal Council told CNN many of the incidents are because of unauthorized construction. People build extra floors in structures without permits, creating hazardous conditions. The official also said there have been several buildings in Delhi designated as dangerous, yet people continue to live in them.

Corruption is also a problem, which leads to the authorization of risky building permits. Other factors that contribute to the high number of building collapses in India include lack of oversight, poor quality building materials and even overpopulation.

A building collapse in January in the tourist resort of Goa claimed at least 14 lives.

Hundreds of people have died in building collapses in India over the past several years.

Kay Guerrero, Ravi Agrawal, and Neha Sharma contributed to this report

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