At least 100 people are feared dead after a giant chimney under construction at a power plant in central India collapsed in bad weather.

Labourers had completed 100 metres of the planned 275-metre power plant chimney when the structure came crashing down in bad weather yesterday.

‘I expect the number of dead will cross 100,’ said Vinod Kumar Sharma, general secretary of the workers' union at aluminium group Balco, which was building the chimney.

A majority of the victims were migrant labourers from the eastern states of Jharkhand and Bihar.

Mr Sharma said an average shift would have seen 55-70 people working directly on the chimney, with dozens more on the ground.

'The chance of finding survivors is getting very bleak.'