BOGOTA, April 27 (Xinhua) -- At least five people were killed on Thursday when a building under construction collapsed in the northern Colombian city of Cartagena, local media reported.
Some 17 people were injured and as many as 20 others were believed to be trapped under the rubble of the five- or six-story structure after one of the supporting columns snapped, local authorities said.
Rescue workers as well as the Red Cross and the Health Secretariat were searching for survivors through the debris.
Cartagena's Fire Department said heavy rains in recent days could have weakened the structure, leading to its collapse.
Gabriel Ladeuth, a 32-year-old construction worker who was on the second floor when the structure caved in, said he was able to leap out onto the street after hearing a sudden roar of falling debris, but many of his companions were not as lucky.
"It appears to have been a structural flaw," said Cartagena Mayor Manolo Duque.
"We regret the situation. There are several people wounded and we are working to rescue others, but they told me that they did have the permit needed to build," Duque said.