Up to eight feared dead in Marseille apartment building collapse

Clay Curtis
November 8, 2018

Rescue teams are searching for survivors amid rubble after two buildings collapsed in Marseille, France, on Monday morning.

On the ruins of one of the ruined buildings found the body of a man.

Images taken before the collapse show large cracks in the facade of number 63; a former resident, retired college lecturer Mark Mason, told the Guardian he had been forced to sell his flat in the building to the council in 2012 under a compulsory purchase order after the first storey floor collapsed and chunks of masonry began falling from the building.

As the investigation continues into the cause of the incident, it's been confirmed that only one of the buildings was inhabited with nine of the ten apartments being occupied.

Two buildings, standing five and six storeys, collapsed on Monday morning in Marseille.

Residents said Tuesday the structural risks of the buildings and others like them were widely known, but that city officials did little when alerted about them. "People died for nothing even though we knew", he added.

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Abdou Ali, 34, came in search of his mother after she did not come to collect her youngest son from school on Monday afternoon.

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". However, according to neighbors, it is at the time of the tragedy could be people, particularly the homeless.

Residents say they had warned the buildings were structurally unsound for years, but accused city authorities of doing little.

But a 2015 government report said about 100,000 Marseille residents were living in housing that was risky to their health or security.

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

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