Up to eight feared dead in France after Marseille building collapse

Firefighters work at the scene where a building collapsed In Marseille on Monday

Earlier on Tuesday, Marseille public prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux said up to eight people might have been buried.

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.

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. Eight hours later, another neighboring building collapsed.

Arriving at the site Tuesday, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said "air pockets" under the debris meant there's "hope to locate and find someone that can be saved".

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.

Fire officials deliberately brought down most of a third building due to concerns the unstable structure might cave on top of search crews and sniffer dogs combing the rubble of the other buildings. "People died for nothing even though we knew", he added.

The news service reports that nine of that building's 10 units were occupied, with a shop filling the lower level. He added that the figures had changed little since making Marseille the European city with "the most decaying housing".


A young bar waiter watched the scene with tears in his eyes, anxious for news of an Italian woman who lived in the building.

The two other apartment blocks, which were in such a bad state that they had been condemned, were boarded up and in theory unoccupied.

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

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

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

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