India: Walls collapse in Mumbai, killing 16

By Shuriah Niazi

NEW DELHI, India (AA) – At least 16 people were killed early Tuesday when walls collapsed in two areas of India from heavy rains.

Thirteen people were killed after a compound wall collapsed in Mumbai’s Malad region, said officials.

Officials said more people may be trapped under the debris.

In another incident, a wall of a school crashed down on two adjacent houses in the city of Kalyan near Mumbai, killing three, including a three-year-old boy, according to New Delhi Television (NDTV).

"Pained to know about the loss of lives in Malad Wall Collapse incidence. My thoughts are with families who lost loved ones & prayers for speedy recovery of injured," Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister of Maharashtra, said on Twitter.

He also announced that each of the families of those killed in the collapses will receive 500,000 rupees ($7,250) in compensation.

Mumbai is witnessing one of its most intense monsoon spells this year as the city has received the highest rainfall in a decade over a two-day period. Private weather agency Skymet said Mumbai is at serious risk of flooding between July 3 and 5.

"Close to 200 mm or more rain per day is likely during this period, which could hamper normal life," it said.

The government has declared a public holiday today in Mumbai as a precautionary measure following the incessant rain and has asked people to stay indoors. All schools and colleges will remain closed Tuesday.

Several flights have also been diverted after the main runway of Mumbai airport was closed last night.