with videoThere is still hope of finding survivors, says the mayor of Marseille. In the southern French port, a residential complex collapsed this weekend like ‘a house of cards’. So far, two bodies have been found, but there is still great uncertainty about the fate of at least six other residents.

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The two victims have not yet been identified. The four-story apartment building collapsed on the night of Saturday to Sunday after a strong explosion. At least five people from the surrounding buildings were injured.

The mayor of Marseille immediately said that there may still be people alive under the rubble, but also that the victims must be taken into account. There has still been no contact with six residents since the explosion. Rescuers worked through the night searching for possible survivors.

According to the prosecutor, they are “a couple in their thirties” with whom the relatives no longer have contact, as well as a couple of “a certain age”. No child is missing.

stone by stone

The mayor has told local media that a “surgical route” is being sought in the disorder. Then we advance ‘brick by brick’ because ‘everything must be done’ to save the wounded.

“We remain committed to our confidence in a good result,” mayor Benoît Payan previously tweeted. “All teams continue to work and are determined to find survivors.”

The cause of the explosion is still unclear. Surveillance camera footage shows that the explosion was very powerful. A gas leak was initially suspected, but has yet to be confirmed. Neighbors say they smelled a strong odor of gas.

emergency housing

A total of 90 homes out of a total of 199 people have been evacuated from dozens of nearby buildings, according to the French channel BFMTV. Emergency housing has been arranged for 50 families.

In the last forty years, residential complexes have collapsed more frequently in Marseille. In November 2018, two buildings collapsed, killing eight people. The poor maintenance of the buildings would have been the cause at that time.

On January 11, 1981, 8 people died and 16 were injured in the Canet neighborhood when a residential building collapsed. In 1985, 5 people were killed in a building explosion, and on July 20, 1996, 4 were killed and 26 injured in an explosion in a seven-story building near the central station.

Firefighters in Marseille.
Firefighters in Marseille. ©AFP

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