HYDERABAD: In this photograph taken on December 9, 2016, Indian rescue workers dig through the rubble of a collapsed building. — AFP

NEW DELHI: Nine people died after an under-construction building collapsed in southern India but a four-year-old boy and his mother were pulled alive from the rubble, police said yesterday. The seven-storey building where laborers and their families lived in the basement came crashing down late Thursday in Hyderabad, the state capital of Telangana.

"We can confirm that the toll has gone up to nine. Rescue workers had managed to pull out a mother and her child alive yesterday (Friday)," a senior police officer told AFP. "The debris is still being removed," he said, requesting anonymity. Emergency workers were using mechanical diggers and other equipment to remove mangled slabs of concrete and steel at the site, TV footage showed.

The mother and her child were undergoing emergency treatment at a hospital while three more people remained unaccounted for, the officer added. The state government has promised tough action against the building owner for alleged violation of construction rules as well as civic officials for dereliction of duty, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Deadly accidents at building sites are relatively common in India and are often blamed on a lack of safety measures. In July, nine laborers fell to their death from an under-construction residential tower in Mumbai after a concrete slab collapsed. - AFP