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At Least 22 Killed after a Building Collapses onto Guests in New Delhi at an Indian Wedding

This frame grab from video provided by KK Productions shows debris at the site of an accident in Bharatpur District, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of New Delhi, India, Thursday, May 11, 2017. A building wall collapsed onto guests at a wedding in western India, killing at least two dozen people and injuring others, a government official said Thursday. (KK Productions via AP) VOA

New Delhi, May 11, 2017: A building wall collapsed onto guests at a wedding in western India, killing at least 22 people, police said Thursday.

The hundreds of guests were having dinner or assembling on the outdoor lawns when a strong dust storm blew into the area Wednesday night, forcing people on the lawns to go indoors. Then the 80-feet-long (32-meters-long) wall collapsed onto people inside the wedding hall, Bharatpur District Magistrate N.K. Gupta told reporters.

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Another 28 people were injured and have been hospitalized, police officer Anil Tank told Press Trust of India.

The district is in Rajasthan state nearly 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of New Delhi.

A power outage hampered rescue work. It wasn’t clear if the dust storm was a factor in the collapse.

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Building collapses are common in India, where high demand for housing and lax regulations have encouraged some builders to cut corners, use substandard materials or add unauthorized extra floors.

In 2013, a building being constructed illegally in Mumbai caved in, killing 74 people in the country’s worst building collapse in decades. (VOA)

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Drive Safely! Heavy smog covers India, Pakistan, causing accidents and illness

Authorities have advised people to limit road travel and wear facemasks to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses

Motorcycles and vehicles drive on a road while fog envelope the area (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad) (VOA)

Islamabad, November 6, 2017 : Smog has enveloped much of Pakistan and neighboring India, causing highway accidents and respiratory problems, and forcing many residents to stay home, officials said Saturday.

Pakistani meteorologist Mohammad Hanif said the pollution, caused by dust, the burning of crops, and emissions from factories and brick kilns in Pakistan and neighboring India, was expected to linger until the middle of the month and contribute to smog- a combination of smoke and fog. He advised people to wear facemasks to protect themselves from respiratory ailments.

Mohammad Arshad, a highway police official, said at least 10 people were killed and 25 injured in road accidents linked to poor visibility in various parts of the Punjab province due to smog, since Monday. Authorities have advised people to limit road travel.

Average air pollution in Pakistan’s major cities is about four times higher than the World Health Organization limits.

Similar problems have been reported in the Indian capital, New Delhi, where air quality was rated “very poor” Saturday. Some private schools in New Delhi have suspended sports and outdoor activities.

India’s Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers in New Delhi ahead of last month’s Hindu Diwali festival to try to curb air pollution in the city notorious for smog. Though reports said air quality was better than last year, pollution levels in the capital hit 18 times the healthy limit the night after the festival, as many dodged the ban. (VOA)

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