3 found dead in collapsed buildings, search goes on

3 found dead in collapsed buildings, search goes on

The body of another man and a woman had already been found by the rescue Tuesday in the ruins of these buildings in the very popular area of Noailles. An adjoining third building, number 67, sustained damage and was torn down for fear it would collapse, as well. "People died for nothing even though we knew", he added.

The death toll is likely to increase as between five and eight people are missing, French interior minister Christophe Castaner said. The others were so dilapidated they had been condemned and were boarded up, though locals said they were frequently used by squatters.

The body of a fifth victim has been found in the rubble of two dilapidated buildings that collapsed this week in the French city of Marseille, the fire brigade said on Wednesday (Nov 7).

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

People had been living in nine of the 10 apartments at number 65, while a shop occupied the ground floor.

The collapse has highlighted concerns over the condition of up to 6,000 buildings in Marseille, which have been estimated to be in similarly poor fix. He added that the figures had changed little since making Marseille the European city with "the most decaying housing".

"The most important is saving lives", Castaner said at the scene.

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One of those thought dead includes a mother who did not collect her daughter from school on the day of the incident, and another woman who rarely left her apartment.

People were living in the other building that collapsed, 65 rue d'Aubagne.

"The walls had been moving for several weeks and cracks had appeared", the 25-year-old philosophy student said.

Marseille city authorities, who have evacuated and rehoused 100 residents from nearby buildings as a precaution, believe heavy rain may have contributed to the buildings' collapsing.

Marseille authorities began a vast upgrade plan for the city centre in 2011.

But a 2015 government report said some 100,000 Marseille residents were living in housing that was risky to their health or security.

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