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Twin apartment building collapses in India, killing 11

Two adjacent apartment blocks have collapsed in western India, killing at least 11 occupants as they slept. Authorities say they are checking 31 other buildings nearby for structural faults.

Officials in India's western city of Vododara said rescuers on Wednesday pulled at least 11 bodies from the debris of two three-storey buildings. They collapsed before dawn, twenty minutes apart.

The two buildings were part of a 33-house complex constructed by the Gujarat state government to house poor residents more than a decade ago.

Vododara's fire chief Hitesh Taparia said four badly injured people were also found in the rubble of concrete, bricks and twisted metal.

He said investigators were looking for structural damage in adjacent buildings, possibly caused by unusually heavy rain that might have destabilized foundations.

Local media reported cracks and evidence of water damage in other buildings.

At the moment of the first building's collapse, about 20 occupants were inside 14 apartments. Police said the adjacent building was evacuated minutes before it fell.

Collapses frequent

Building collapses are common in India amid massive demand for housing and allegations of substandard construction.

Last month, a hotel collapsed in India's southern city of Secunderabad, killing 13 people. In April, a building collapse in Mumbai claimed 74 lives.

ipj/ph (AFP, AP, dpa)