Fourteen people died and at least 44 were injured when a seven-storeyed under-construction building collapsed near Shil Phata in Thane on Thursday evening.
Around 40 residents were feared trapped under the debris, even as rescue efforts continued late into the night. Officials said the toll is likely to go up.
Preliminary reports indicate the building, being built by Naseef Qureshi and Zameen Qureshi from Mumbra, was unauthorised and inferior quality materials were being used for its construction.
Residents from the area have alleged the builder had accommodated labourers in the building to show that it was occupied and is not razed by authorities. The builders are absconding, the police said.
According to officials involved in rescue work, 28 families were residing in the building, and around eight to 10 labourers were working on the eight floor when the incident occurred at around 5pm.
Santosh Kadam, head of disaster management cell of Thane Municipal Corporation, said: “Seven floors were built in merely three to four months. It was bound to collapse due to the inferior construction material used by the builders.”