NEW DELHI - A dilapidated apartment block collapsed in New Delhi on Saturday, killing at least ten people including five children in the country’s latest building disaster, reports said citing police officials.

Rescuers scrambled to find survivors after the four-storey residential building crumbled, with scores of people feared trapped under the debris. ‘Ten people including five children and three women have been killed in the building collapse while two persons have been injured,’ Delhi police commissioner Madhur Verma told the Press Trust of India (PTI).

‘Rescue operations are still on and debris is being removed,’ he added. The decades-old dilapidated building in a congested north Delhi neighbourhood started crumbling on Saturday morning.  ‘This is a 40-year-old building. They have illegally built floor after floor,’ Rajesh Bhatia, a senior municipal official told NDTV news channel.

The injured have been rushed to hospital while the government has ordered an inquiry into the the cause of the accident, PTI reported. Building collapses are common in India, as lax regulations and the demand for cheap housing often spurs construction that uses substandard materials and adds unauthorised extra floors.

Earlier this year more than 15 people had died in the western state of Goa when a residential building collapsed. Deputy Commissioner of Police Madhur Verma told reporters an investigation into the cause of the collapse had been launched.

‘Building collapse in Delhi brings forth need to adhere to safety requirements,’ tweeted Vijay Goel, a lawmaker from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party that controls the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. Numerous building accidents in India’s large cities have killed about 100 people in the past year, according to local media reports.

The worst toll in recent months was more than 50 in the financial capital of Mumbai last September.