Death toll from India building collapse rises to 16

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MUMBAI, March 24 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from a building collapse in Dharwad town of India's southwestern state Karnataka has risen to 16, officials said on Sunday.

The state government has suspended seven officials of a local municipal corporation for alleged negligence over the building collapse.

So far, 57 people had been rescued by the disaster response forces of Indian government and Karnataka state and one more body was recovered Saturday night from the debris, said Deputy Commissioner of Dharwad district Deepa Cholan, who is in charge of the rescue operation.

Some 19 people were reportedly missing after the tragedy on Tuesday. Rescuers were still trying to retrieve those believed to be buried under debris.

A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the accident.

On Friday, three persons including a woman were rescued from beneath the rubble almost 300 hours after the collapse in Kumareshwar Nagar of Dharwad.