At least three dead after buildings collapse in Marseille

Leroy Wright
November 9, 2018

As many as eight people might have died in the southern French city of Marseille in two building collapses, officials said Tuesday after the first body was pulled out from the wreckage.

Emergency workers are continuing to sift through the ruins for another three people who are still believed to be missing since the two buildings crumbled suddenly on Monday morning.

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

But Interior Minister Christophe Castaner had already warned on Monday evening that there was "little chance of finding air pockets" in a pile of rubble stretching 15 metres (50 feet) long. Authorities said the vacant building had been deemed substandard.

One of them had been condemned and, with its windows boarded up, was well-secured and in theory unoccupied, officials said.

One of the buildings was apparently vacant and the other housed apartments. He has had no news of her since Monday.

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The collapse has highlighted concerns over the condition of up to 6,000 buildings in Marseille, which have been estimated to be in similarly poor fix.

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

Sophie Dorbeaux, who lived in the now-demolished 65 rue d'Aubagne, meanwhile told AFP she had left on Sunday night to stay with her parents because "for days, the doors of some of the apartments wouldn't close".

"The walls had been moving for several weeks and cracks had appeared", the 25-year-old philosophy student said. However, according to neighbors, it is at the time of the tragedy could be people, particularly the homeless.

The buildings were in a small shopping street in the centre of the city.

Local resident Toufik Ben Rhouma said the neighbourhood was "hell", declaring the disaster "100 percent the fault of city hall".

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