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13 people from same family killed after building collapses in India

A local police superintendent said the unfinished building appeared to have been constructed in a hurry.

By Fred Lambert
13 people from same family killed after building collapses in India
Workers for India's National Disaster Response Force at the scene of a building collapse in Ballari, India, in 2010. A building collapse near the city of Varanasi, India, on February 15, 2015, killed up to 13 people from the same family. Photo by Raka/CC/Wikimedia Commons

VARANASI, India, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- A building collapse in India claimed the lives of 13 people from the same family, according to officials.

The incident occurred early Sunday in a village called Dulhipur, near the city of Varanasi in India's Uttar Pradesh state. Police said the unfinished three-story structure was near completion when it fell atop a family of weavers sleeping on the ground floor.

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At least 16 people from the same family were sleeping in the building during the collapse, and 14 were buried alive. Locals reportedly tried to rescue the family after hearing cries beneath the rubble, but 12 victims -- including the building's owner, Mohammad Kamarrudin -- died before being assisted. Two children were pulled out and rushed to the hospital, where one died. The total number of fatalities stands at 13.

A local police superintendent said the building had design flaws and that construction appeared to have been hurried, according to the BBC.

Workers from India's National Disaster Response Force helped recover bodies from the scene before the remaining portions of the structure were demolished to avoid future collapses. Police are searching for the building contractor.

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Such disasters are not uncommon to India, where inadequate regulation and pressures on the housing industry have been blamed for a series of collapses, including the 2014 toppling of an 11-story building in Chennai that killed dozens.

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