Paris, Apr 10 (EFE).- Rescuers in France found four bodies under the rubble of a building that collapsed in Marseille, while at least four others remained missing, officials said on Monday.
The four-story building in the center of the southern French city was flattened shortly after midnight on Sunday and also affected neighboring buildings.
Cities and housing minister Olivier Klein confirmed the number of victims during a visit to the scene with Marseille mayor Benoit Payan.
“The search is proceeding carefully because the hope of finding survivors is still there. Firefighters are doing very meticulous work,” Klein said.
Payan wrote on Twitter: “I am thinking of the loved ones of those who suffer and remain in worry. Marseille stands by their side. Rescue and search operations continue unabated.”
The destruction, likely caused by an explosion, ignited a fire in the rubble that significantly hampered the rescue operation.
Initial information showed that the collapse had affected 33 residents of the city, six of whom were taken to hospital. Five of them were in a state of “relative seriousness”, the mayor said, and another older person was treated for shock.
More than 160 people were evacuated from their homes in the surrounding area for safety reasons.
The accident has sent shockwaves across Marseille, a city that already suffered the collapse of two buildings in 2018 killing eight people.
The incidents unearthed a serious housing crisis due to the poor state of many of the city’s buildings, leading to the relocation of over 4,000 residents.EFE