A building collapses in Marseille: at least 5 injured, searches underway to find possible victims
Sylvie Claire / April 9, 2023
"We have to be prepared to have victims in this terrible drama," Marseille Mayor Benoit Payan said Sunday after a four-story building collapsed, noting that five people in neighboring buildings were injured.
A fire in the rubble "is still going on and is extremely difficult to control," the mayor added.
The firefighters are judging minute by minute the best way to extinguish this fire because there are potentially inside people alive," said Payan. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin will visit the site in the morning.
Since the collapse of this building, at 17 rue Tivoli, in the central district of La Plaine, presumably after an explosion, around 00:40, the fire has prevented firefighters and dogs from searching the rubble for possible survivors.
"We are trying to speed up the movement because time is of the essence", but the dogs can't keep up in this heat, said the commander of the Marseille marine fire department, Lionel Mathieu.
The number of residents in the building that collapsed in the middle of the night remains unknown, according to authorities.
A race against time is also underway in a neighboring building, number 15, partially damaged, and "threatening to collapse", like number 19.
In these neighboring buildings, 33 people were "hit" but only five were injured and are in relative emergency.
An investigation is open to determine the causes of the disaster. In November 2018, the collapse of two buildings in the center of Marseille had killed eight people and sparked a wave of indignation against poor housing in this city where 40,000 people live in slums, according to NGOs.