France: Construction disaster in Marseille. Strict action

A four-storey apartment building collapsed in the center of Marseille on Saturday night. Mayor Benoit Bayon said the fire prevented emergency services from starting. Neighboring buildings also partially collapsed. The head of the French interior ministry, Gérald Dorman, arrived at the crash site and said between 4 and 10 people were under the rubble.

Building number 17 on Via Tivoli collapsed, as the mayor of Marseille said. As a result of the disaster, neighboring buildings also collapsed and their occupants were evacuated.

Five hybrids were injured and 33 received medical treatment.

A fire broke out at the spot, making it difficult to start rescue operations. “This prevented rescue teams from being sent with dogs to search for victims who might be trapped under the rubble,” the mayor said.

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Around 100 firefighters are working to douse the blaze.

Rescue services and firefighters are still unable to determine how many people may be in the building, with none of the occupants giving signs of life. Benoit Bayan warned of “losses of life” in the disaster.

The cause of the accident is not known. According to witnesses, an explosion was heard. Initial reports suggest that it could be a gas explosion.

Police cordoned off the entire area, and streets around the ruins were blocked off in the La Plaine district.


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