Up to eight feared dead after buildings collapse in Marseille

  • Up to eight feared dead after buildings collapse in Marseille

Up to eight feared dead after buildings collapse in Marseille

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

Of the three buildings that collapsed, two had already been condemned and were uninhabited, but questions are being asked about why the third had not yet been renovated, repaired, or evacuated.

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

In the place of a collapse of houses in the centre of Marseille, found the body of the deceased men, the search operation continues.

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.

"Everybody knew about the problems with the two collapsed buildings", Patrick Lacoste, a spokesman for a local housing action group, said.

"We still have hope, even if that hope is fading".

A local resident, Toufik Ben Rhouma, blamed Marseille city hall for the disaster. He added that the figures had changed little since making Marseille the European city with "the most decaying housing".

One of the buildings was in disrepair, its inhabitants were evicted.

At number 65 rue d'Augagne, nine of the ten apartments were full.

"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.

"It could have been me", the 25-year-old philosophy student said, visibly shaken.

Authorities said they were looking into what caused the collapse of the buildings, described by residents of the area as dilapidated and in need of fix.

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