An 80-year-old restaurant building collapsed, on Monday morning, near India's IT hub of Hyderabad in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, killing 13 and injuring several others, The Times of India reported.
Three people are still believed to be trapped under the debris of the building, which collapsed at around 6.30 a.m. local time (9 p.m. EDT), NDTV reported.
At least 37 people who were inside the City Light Hotel, a popular restaurant, have been rushed to a nearby hospital. According to reports, the victims are mainly daily wage workers who gathered at the hotel for their morning tea, and hotel workers.
"I was having tea with my friends...when the ground seemed to have given away and the roof was coming down. We immediately rushed out and also dragged some people out. We could also see fire breaking out of the kitchen," Shankar, a daily wage worker, told The Hindu.
Although no reason for the building’s collapse has been reported yet, many believe structural weakness could have contributed to the accident. Construction activities, such as putting up huge stoves inside the hotel to make the Haleem, a delicacy prepared during the month of Ramadan, which is slated to begin this week, has also been cited as one of the reasons.
However, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation authorities told the Times that the hotel was not among the buildings on its list of unsafe structures in Secunderabad, a suburb of Hyderabad, where the hotel is located.