The 40-year-old building in Mumbai's eastern suburb of Ghatkopar housed a nursing home on the ground floor and three to four families on each of the other floors.

Indian rescue workers look for survivors in debris at the site of a building collapse in Mumbai on July 25, 2017.
Indian rescue workers look for survivors in debris at the site of a building collapse in Mumbai on July 25, 2017.

The death toll from the collapse of a four-storey building in the suburbs of India's financial capital, Mumbai, more than doubled overnight to 17 as rescuers removed debris searching for those still trapped, a police official said on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old building in Mumbai's eastern suburb of Ghatkopar housed a nursing home on the ground floor and three to four families on each of the other floors.

"The building wasn't on the list of dilapidated buildings," Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar said on Tuesday.

"We will investigate whether the building fell because of an alteration in the structure."

Search and rescue operations went on despite sporadic rain showers on Wednesday.

Building collapses are common in India, especially during the monsoon season from late June to September. (AFP)
Building collapses are common in India, especially during the monsoon season from late June to September. (AFP)

"There was a hospital at the basement of the building that was conducting renovation work, which could have led to the collapse of the building," Prakash Mehta, housing minister for the western state of Maharashtra, told reporters.

Building collapses are common in India, especially during the monsoon season from late June to September.

India's financial capital is particularly vulnerable with millions forced to live in cramped, ramshackle properties because of rising real estate prices and a lack of housing for the poor.

The city has been hit by several deadly building collapses in recent years, often caused by shoddy construction, poor quality materials or ageing buildings.

The chief minister of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, ordered an investigation into the latest incident after reports that renovation work was going on at the site at the time of the collapse.

In 2013, 145 people were killed in three separate building collapses around Mumbai, on India's western coast, the highest toll in recent years.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies