Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Fifth body found under collapsed buildings in French city of Marseille

Fifth body found under collapsed buildings in French city of Marseille

Prosecutors said the bodies of a man and woman were found separately Tuesday under the 15-metre (50-foot) pile of rubble on Rue d'Aubagne, a narrow shopping street which now resembles the scene of an quake.

A third adjoining building partially collapsed on Monday night.

Google Maps images showed the two collapsed buildings had large visible cracks in their facades.

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Castaner said 120 police officers and 80 firefighters took part in the search-and-rescue operation, working through the night in the pile of beams and rubble.

Sabine Bernasconi, the local mayor for that area of Marseille, said one of the buildings had been subject to an evacuation order.

The buildings - one condemned and apparently vacant, the other containing apartments - collapsed at about 9am on Monday.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told lawmakers in Paris that he had ordered a building by building audit before an "ambitious programme for ensuring safe conditions" along with Marseille authorities.

"Nearly 6,000 properties have been identified as at risk" in the city, he said, representing some 44,000 lodgings in lower-class neighbourhoods.

"We still have hope, even if that hope is fading".

At number 65 rue d'Augagne, nine of the ten apartments were full. "It is the houses of poor people that collapse - and that is no coincidence", he was quoted as saying by local media. He added that the figures had changed little since making Marseille the European city with "the most decaying housing".

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

According 2015, about 100 thousand inhabitants of Marseille, live in housing that threatens their health or safety.

"It's unthinkable that such things happen in our time", said Christian Gouverneur, who owns a flat in an apartment block opposite the collapsed buildings.

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