Several seriously injured after residential building collapses in Marseille
Paris, Apr 9 (EFE).- At least five people have sustained serious injuries after a four-story apartment building in Marseille collapsed, local authorities said Sunday, warning that the number of casualties is expected to rise as efforts to locate survivors continue.
The building in the center of the southern French city collapsed shortly after midnight and also affected neighboring buildings.
“We think there are between four and 10 people under the rubble,” said French interior minister Gérald Darmanin at the scene.
French prime minister Élisabeth Borne and president Emmanuel Macron sent messages of encouragement to the victims.
“Emotion for Marseille, where a building on Rue de Tivoli collapsed last night. My thoughts are with the people affected and their families. The search continues with significant means deployed. Thanks to the firefighters and emergency services mobilised,” Macron said on Twitter.
The main hypothesis is that the collapse was caused by an explosion, possibly due to a gas leak.
“We must prepare for casualties,” Marseille mayor Benoît Payan told reporters.
The collapse has affected 33 residents of the city, six of whom had to be taken to hospital. Five of them are in a state of “relative seriousness”, the mayor said, and another elderly person had to be treated for shock.
Rescue work at the site is being hampered by a fire in the rubble. Authorities have acknowledged that the work would take several hours.
The incident has sent shockwaves through Marseille, a city that has already suffered the collapse of two buildings in 2018, which killed eight people.
Those events also uncovered a serious housing crisis due to the poor state of many of the city’s buildings, leading to more than 4,000 residents being relocated. EFE