At least six dead as India building collapses

At least six people were killed Monday when an apartment block collapsed in southern India following a gas tank explosion, police said.

The two-storey building in a crowded neighbourhood in Bangalore city was reduced to rubble after the cooking gas tank triggered a devastating blast.

"The victims were buried in the debris of the building," a police official told AFP, adding the explosion occurred in the kitchen of a ground floor flat.

"A search is underway to find survivors, if any, at the site of the accident."

Rescue workers managed to pull a three-year-old alive from the ruins and were frantically searching for others believed trapped beneath tonnes of concrete.

A government inquiry has been ordered into the accident.

Building disasters are common in Indian cities where millions are forced to live in cramped, dilapidated properties because of spiralling real estate prices and a lack of housing for the poor.

Activists say housing societies, private owners and builders often cut corners to save on costs.

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