A four-storeyed under construction building collapsed at Dharwad in north Karnataka on Tuesday, killing two people, critically injuring five and leaving many others trapped, police said.
The building came down crashing giving rise to a thick cloud of dust at Kumareshwaranagar in the heart of Dharwad, triggering widespread panic among neighbours and passers-by.
"Two people have died while some 30 to 40 people were trapped," said a police officer at Dharwad police station.
Rescuers have pulled out 28 people from the rubble, police said, adding, the injured have been hospitalised.
As many as 10 ambulances and five fire tenders were deployed to carry out relief and rescue operations.
Residents said there were several shops on the ground floor and many people often used to visit there.
Rajesh, a witness, told a Kannada TV channel that the first two floors of the building were being rented out by shops.
"There was a tea shop, a photostat shop," he added.
Former Karnataka minister and Congress leader from the region Vinay Kulkarni said one of the partners in the building was his relative.
Speaking to reporters, he said whoever was involved should face action.
Most of those trapped were migrant labourers from North India who were engaged in laying the tiles.
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who expressed shock over the collapse, directed the chief secretary to supervise the rescue operation.
An eye-witness alleged that the building did not have the capacity to bear four storeys whereas an extra floor was being added.
"The builders had used substandard materials," he told reporters.
Besides police and fire and emergency services, Border Security Force jawans, who were deployed for the Lok Sabha polls, too were engaged, as the rescue operations were on.