Saturday 21 September 2019

Four bodies found in ruins after buildings collapse in Marseille

Several people are still missing in the French city.

Firefighters at work (Claude Paris/AP)
Firefighters at work (Claude Paris/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Firefighters in the southern French city of Marseille have found the bodies of four people in the ruins of two collapsed buildings as the search for victims and survivors continued.

Marseille prosecutor Xavier Tabareux said the body of a woman was recovered after three other people – two men and a woman – were found dead in the rubble earlier.

Several people remained missing after the adjacent multi-storey structures collapsed on Monday.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said “air pockets” under the debris meant there’s “hope to locate and find someone that can be saved”.

A firefighter uses a sniffer dog to locate possible trapped people (Claude Paris/AP)

Mr Castaner said at the site that 120 police officers and 80 firefighters took part in the search-and-rescue operation, working through the night in the pile of beams and rubble.

The two buildings, one apparently vacant and the other housing apartments, collapsed Monday at 9 a.m. local time. Authorities said the vacant building had been deemed substandard. It was not immediately clear why they collapsed, or how many people the apartment building housed.

Firefighters are still searching the building (Claude Paris/AP)

Fire crews working with sniffer dogs later brought down the remains of a third building they feared could topple over on them.

Images of the buildings before they collapsed showed that one had five floors and the other six.

In the spot where they had stood, a large gap appeared once the dust and debris settled.

Cars around Marseille’s famous Old Port on the Mediterranean Sea, were covered with thick dust.

PA Media

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