At least 3 dead after buildings collapse in Marseille

At least 3 dead after buildings collapse in Marseille

At least 3 dead after buildings collapse in Marseille

Firefighters in the southern French city of Marseille say they have found a second body in the ruins of two collapsed buildings.

Fire officials deliberately brought down most of a third building due to apprehensions the unsteady structure might cave on top of search crews and sniffer dogs combing the rubble of the other buildings.

"Everybody knew about the problems with the two collapsed buildings", Patrick Lacoste, a spokesman for a local housing action group, said.

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

The news service reports that nine of that building's 10 units were occupied, with a shop filling the lower level.

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In Marseille under the rubble of destroyed houses found the bodies of three victims.

The first victim - a man - was pulled from the wreckage Tuesday, prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux said, adding that he needed to be identified.

As many as eight people are feared dead in total.

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.

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

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

"It's the homes of the poor that are falling down, and that's not a coincidence", said local lawmaker Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the leftwing France Unbowed party.

The buildings were in a small shopping street in the centre of the city. 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 unsafe to their health or security.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his solidarity with the city of Marseille as it dealt with the collapse.

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