Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Eight feared dead after two buildings collapse in France

Two buildings collapsed suddenly not far from Marseille city centre Two buildings collapsed suddenly not far from Marseille city centre
Melinda Barton | 08 November, 2018, 23:18

Rescuers worked throughout the night to look for victims in the rubble of two dilapidated blocks of flats which collapsed suddenly on Monday morning not far from the centre of the Mediterranean port city.

Authorities said the vacant building had been deemed substandard.

People were living in the other building that collapsed, 65 rue d'Aubagne.

Mr Castaner said: "During the first clearing operations we've found some pockets of air that means we still have some hope of finding and identifying a survivor".

"Nearly 6,000 properties have been identified as at risk" in the city, he said, representing some 44,000 lodgings in lower-class neighbourhoods.

The news service reports that nine of that building's 10 units were occupied, with a shop filling the lower level. Local residents said the building was old and dilapidated, which might have been a factor.

Google Maps images taken in recent months showed the collapsed buildings had large cracks in their facades.

"The most important is saving lives", Castaner said at the scene.

"She was a great girl, she used to come and study at the bar", he said, without giving his name.

Sophie Dorbeaux meanwhile told AFP she had left the block on Sunday night to stay with her parents because her door, like several others, was not opening or closing properly because of the building's structural problems.

"It could have been me", she added, visibly shaken.

The search has proven hard because one of the collapsed buildings, 63 Rue d'Aubagne, was closed and was possibly used by squatters.

French rescue workers are seen near rubble after buildings collapsed in central Marseille, France on November 5, 2018.

According 2015, about 100 thousand inhabitants of Marseille, live in housing that threatens their health or safety.

Djaffar Nour, who was shopping down the street, said the collapse had happened in "a matter of seconds".