Friday, 16 November, 2018


Three bodies found in rubble of collapsed buildings in Marseille

Firefighters work at the scene where a building collapsed In Marseille on Monday Firefighters work at the scene where a building collapsed In Marseille on Monday Credit Claude Paris Claude Paris Source AP
Bennie Garza | 09 November, 2018, 13:31

A fourth body has been found in the ruins of two buildings that collapsed in the southern city of Marseille.

A fifth body was recovered on Wednesday morning under rubble of the dilapidated buildings, which crumbled suddenly on Monday morning in Noailles, a working-class district in the heart of the port city.

Interior minister Christophe Castaner said eight people are missing from the building and that he was "not very optimistic" that they would be found.

He said that the chance of finding survivors was diminishing the longer the search continued, especially as the controlled collapse of a third building - which had been weakened by the initial disaster - had laid more rubble over the site.

The two on either side were in such a bad state that they had been declared off limits and boarded up.

People had been living in nine of the 10 apartments at number 65, while a shop occupied the ground floor.

Images of the buildings before they collapsed, visible on Google Street View, showed that one of the buildings was clearly in poor fix, with boarded-up windows and large visible cracks on the facade before it collapsed. He has had no news of her since Monday.

More than 120 rescue workers are involved in the operation to clear the debris, forming a human chain on Tuesday to remove it stone by stone.

"The walls had been moving for several weeks and cracks had appeared", the 25-year-old philosophy student said.

Leading left-wing politician Jean-Luc Melonchon, who visited the scene Monday, had reportedly been critical of the city's housing policy.

Marseille authorities began a vast upgrade plan for the city centre in 2011.

Sabine Bernasconi, the local mayor for that part of Marseille, said one of the buildings was subject to an evacuation order, but could not say for sure that squatters were not using it.

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