NEW DELHI : Four people lost their lives in northern India on Saturday after entering a commercial building while it was being demolished, police said.

One person was pulled out alive from under the rubble and was undergoing treatment in a local hospital in Meerut city in Uttar Pradesh state, police said. "We are yet to complete our rescue work but don't think there is anyone else under the rubble," Daya Shankar Dwivedi, a spokesman for the senior superintendent of Meerut Police, told AFP.

Police have registered a criminal case against the Meerut Cantonment Board, which was carrying out the demolition drive after a state court order. Police said the victims went inside the building without permission while the demolition process was ongoing.

"Initially, the authorities had sanitised the entire structure and its surroundings but the victims, who own a tea shop next to the building, went in on the pretext of collecting some goods when the structure collapsed over them," Dwivedi said.

The victims included a father and his son and two relatives. The police said their probe will assess whether those in charge of demolition at the site were neglectful in their duties.