AN under-construction shopping centre has collapsed in Mexico killing at least seven people and leaving another nine missing, officials said.

Dramatic pictures show emergency workers hauling the victims from the rubble as they continued to scour the debris for people who might be trapped.

Authorities said work on the three-storey structure in Monterrey, the capital of the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo León, was being carried out without the necessary licence.

The victims, including the 15 injured, are believed to be construction workers, according to local council secretary Genaro Garcia.

The concrete slabs of the structure appear to have pancaked, falling one atop another.

About 150 emergency personnel were looking for more people who may be trapped.

Last night, the civil defence office released a brief statement saying that nine people were still missing.

In July, a newly opened shopping mall on the south side of Mexico City partially collapsed.

A support beam at the Artz Pedregal mall failed, allowing operators to evacuate the mall so that no one was injured when the top floors collapsed about five minutes later.

Parts of the shopping centre had still been under construction even though it opened in March.

Videos posted on social media showed a multi-storey section of the building as it collapsed into a cloud of dust and twisted metal.

Some of the debris fell onto lanes of a major highway, which has been closed shortly before the building caved in.

There were no reported casualties.