Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Three bodies found in rubble of collapsed buildings in Marseille

Three bodies found in rubble of collapsed buildings in Marseille

The body of a woman was found under the debris of two collapsed buildings in the southern French city of Marseille on Tuesday evening, taking the death toll to four, prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux told AFP.

A man's body was recovered from the rubble after the bodies of another man and a woman were found earlier in the day, a spokesman for the Marseille Firefighters told The Associated Press. According to authorities, a total of five to eight people could have died in the collapse.

Google Maps images taken in recent months showed the two collapsed buildings, in the working-class neighbourhood of Noailles, had had large visible cracks in their facades.

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.

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

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

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

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

"It could have been me", the 25-year-old philosophy student said, visibly shaken. She told AFP that she had stayed with her parents the night before the collapse because numerous doors in the building would not close.

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.

The buildings were in a small shopping street in the centre of the city.

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

"It's unthinkable that such things happen in our time", said Christian Gouverneur, who owns a flat in an apartment block opposite the collapsed buildings.

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