Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Second body found in ruins of collapsed building in Marseille

Second body found in ruins of collapsed building in Marseille

A man's body was pulled from the rubble on Tuesday morning and several hours later rescuers found a woman's body. The building had been the subject of an appraisal and work in October.

Local media reports said at least two passers-by were injured in the accident.

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

Marseille city council has evacuated and rehoused 100 residents from neighbouring buildings and says heavy rain may have contributed to the collapse.

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.

Only one of the buildings was occupied, as the two others were in such a bad state that they had been condemned.

"The most important is saving lives", Castaner added from the scene.

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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.

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

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

There are between five to eight people missing, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said late Monday, with authorities trying to trace five residents and three other people who had been invited to the buildings.

But the incident - rare in a major Western city - has already sparked a political row over the quality of housing available to Marseille's poorest residents.

The buildings were in a small shopping street in the centre of the city. A 2015 report by the government found that 100,000 residents of Marseille "were living in housing that was risky to their health or security", according to AFP.

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