Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

In Marseille, found the first victim of the collapse of houses

In Marseille, found the first victim of the collapse of houses

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said late Monday that between five to eight people were missing - five residents and three other people who may have been visiting one of the buildings. Eight hours later, another neighboring building collapsed.

In the place of a collapse of houses in the centre of Marseille, found the body of the deceased men, the search operation continues.

Google Maps images taken in recent months showed the two collapsed buildings, in the working-class neighbourhood of Noailles, had large visible cracks in their facades. It was not immediately clear why they collapsed, or how many people the apartment building housed.

Residents said Tuesday the structural risks of the buildings and others like them were widely known, but that city officials did little when alerted about them.

"People died for nothing, even though we knew".

A local resident, Toufik Ben Rhouma, blamed Marseille city hall for the disaster.

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At number 65 rue d'Augagne, nine of the ten apartments were full. The disaster, he added, was "100 percent the fault of city hall".

Authorities said one building had been condemned as substandard and was assumed to be unoccupied, but the other was inhabited.

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

"She was a great girl, she used to come and study at the bar", he said, without giving his name. She told AFP that she had stayed with her parents the night before the collapse because numerous doors in the building would not close.

"It could have been me", the 25-year-old philosophy student said, visibly shaken.

He said that the chance of finding survivors was diminishing the longer the search continued, especially as the controlled collapse of a third building - which had been weakened by the initial disaster - had laid more rubble over the site. In 2011 the local authorities began a plan to renovate the city centre, but a 2015 government report suggested that 100,000 Marseille residents were living in housing risky to their health or security.

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