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Hope fades in search of collapsed Indian building

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By Associated Press

NEW DELHI (AP) — Anna Halder sat on a patch of packed mud and dialed her cell phone Tuesday, clinging to the hope that her parents or sisters somehow survived under the wreckage of their collapsed apartment building and would pick up.

"It's ringing," she said. No one answered. She dialed again.

At least 66 people were killed and 73 were injured after the crude brick building crashed down in a congested New Delhi neighborhood. By Tuesday evening, as rescue workers continued to tear through the pile of broken bricks, twisted iron rods and concrete slabs, hope for finding more survivors was fading.

The building collapsed Monday about the time families were cooking dinner. Halder, 18, had not yet returned from her job as a housekeeper. Her working-class family, like millions of other migrants, moved to New Delhi hoping to get jobs in the growing Indian capital.

They, and many others from West Bengal, found housing in the crude brick building in the Lalita Park neighborhood near the Yamuna River because it was one of the rare homes they could afford amid the skyrocketing real estate prices in the crowded city.


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