Two bodies were found under the rubble of a collapsed apartment building in Marseille outside

with videoMore than 24 hours after a huge explosion occurred in a residential complex in the southern French port of Marseille, firefighters found the bodies of two people under the rubble. There remains a great deal of uncertainty about the fate of at least six other residents.

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The four-storey building collapsed in the center of Marseille overnight from Saturday to Sunday. At least five people from nearby buildings were injured. The mayor of Marseille immediately said that people may still be alive under the rubble, but the victims must also be taken into account. There has been no contact with six residents since the blast. Rescuers worked all night, searching for possible survivors.

“We remain committed to our confidence in a good outcome,” Mayor Benoit Bayan wrote on Twitter. “All teams continue to work and are determined to find any survivors.”

The cause of the explosion is still not clear. CCTV footage shows that the explosion was very powerful. A gas leak was initially suspected, but this has not yet been confirmed. Neighbors say they smelled a strong smell of gas.

emergency housing

90 families out of a total of 199 people have been evacuated from dozens of nearby buildings, according to French broadcaster BFMTV. Emergency housing has been arranged for 50 families.

In the past 40 years, apartment complexes have frequently collapsed in Marseille. In November 2018, two buildings collapsed, killing eight people. The reason for this at the time could have been the poor maintenance of the buildings.

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On January 11, 1981, 8 people were killed and 16 injured in the Canet neighborhood when an apartment building collapsed. In 1985, 5 people were killed in a building explosion, and on July 20, 1996, 4 were killed and 26 injured in an explosion in a seven-storey building near Central Station.

Marseille fire brigade. © AFP

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