The death toll in the 11-storey building collapse in Chennai, the capital of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, has risen to 27, as rescuers continue to pull out bodies from the rubble.

According to India Today, two people were rescued alive from debris after being buried for 40 hours.

"Clearing the debris is a huge challenge. This would take almost two to three days and we hope to save many lives," a senior police officer told NDTV.

Chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who visited the site conveyed her condolences to the families of the victims, and revealed there were 72 construction workers in the building when it collapsed.

"It appears they have not adhered to approved plans. The building appears to have serious structural defects, " she said.

Building collapses in India have become an unfortunately common occurrence. Earlier this year, a residential building collapsed in the tourist resort of Goa, claiming at least 14 lives.

Last September, more than 50 people were killed after a four-storey building collapsed in the commercial capital Mumbai.