Monday, May 27, 2024

Two bodies found in building collapse in Marseille.. Search for missing persons underway.


Rescue services found the first two bodies of eight people believed to be missing under the rubble on Monday, 24 hours after a four-story building in southern France collapsed. .

Firefighters said in a statement that “two bodies” had been found early on Monday, but “given the difficulties, it will take time to recover (the bodies from the site)”.

“Tonight there is a lot of grief and pain,” Marseille Mayor Benoit Payon said in a statement, “and we continue to do everything we can to complete rescue operations.”

At least five people were injured after a building collapsed in the coastal city of Marseille and people are still missing, but a fire is hampering rescue efforts.

After a large explosion, on Saturday night, the building no. on the rue “Tivoli” in a neighborhood famous for cafes and restaurants in Marseille. 17 collapsed, and two nearby buildings were damaged, one of which collapsed hours after the accident, and the second was about to collapse.

Before the bodies were found, Marseille public prosecutor Dominique Laurence said, “We have eight unresponsive people in building number 17 on avenue Tivoli and at the level of the park connecting buildings 15 and 17 (…) We have no news.”

For their part, Interior Minister Gerald Dharmanan and City Mayor Benoit Bayan said five people living in buildings near Building 17 were injured but in stable condition.

“The eight people you spoke to told us their relatives and families had no news of them,” Lawrence added.

Rescue teams have been searching for hours, and fire crews are racing against time to put out fires under the rubble, preventing trained dogs from searching for survivors.

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For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his “sorrow” over the tragedy.

An AFP photographer saw smoke rising from a nearby high-rise on Sunday evening near the ruins.

Earlier, Tharmanan, who had arrived at the site to support residents and around a hundred firefighters during their work, announced that there were “definitely” four people under the rubble, adding that “maybe around ten”.

Lawrence pointed out that “it is currently impossible to determine the cause of the explosion,” which led to the collapse of the four-story building.

“Gas is certainly one of the possible possibilities” and may have caused the explosion, which was recorded by surveillance cameras at 00:46 (22:46 GMT).

Witness Aziz told “Agence France Presse” that when the explosion occurred, “everything shook, we saw people running, smoke, and then the building collapsed on the street.”

“Soon we smelled a strong gas, which we smelled this morning,” Savera Musnier, who lives in a nearby street, told AFP on Sunday.

Yannick Ohansian, the officer in charge of security for the municipality of Marseille, said several witnesses spoke of “their suspicion of inhaling the smell of gas”.

According to Housing Minister Oliver Klein, who will visit Marseille on Monday, some 30 precautionary buildings, including 186 people or 90 families, have been evacuated in four streets.

In November 2018, eight people were killed when two buildings collapsed in another district of Marseille. NGOs say the buildings are dangerously dilapidated in a city where 40,000 people live in shacks.

But the building that collapsed on Mayer Sunday didn’t seem to devastate the neighborhood known for its restaurants, bars and nightlife.

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“As far as I know, there are no special problems with this building. We are not faced with a case of a street involving unhealthy houses,” he said.

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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