At least 3 dead after buildings collapse in Marseille

At Least 8 Feared Dead In France's Marseille After 2 Buildings Collapse

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 natural disaster.

Rescuers worked throughout the night looking for victims in the rubble of two buildings which collapsed suddenly on Monday morning in Noailles, a working-class district in the heart of the Mediterranean port city.

Of the three buildings that collapsed, two had already been condemned and were uninhabited, but questions are being asked about why the third had not yet been renovated, repaired, or evacuated. Authorities said the vacant building had been deemed substandard.

Earlier on Tuesday, Marseille public prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux said up to eight people might have been buried.

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

"There's not much chance that we'll find pockets where anyone might have survived", Castaner said on Monday evening.

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Google Street View images from July show that building with boarded-up windows and damage to the facade.

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

"The most important is saving lives", Castaner said at the scene. "It could have been me", she said.

"It could have been me", the 25-year-old philosophy student said, visibly shaken. One house had 5 floors, the other 6.

The neighbourhood is home to many buildings in a similarly dilapidated condition, some of them run by slum landlords.

Marseille authorities began a vast upgrade plan for the city centre in 2011. "It is the houses of poor people that collapse - and that is no coincidence", he was quoted as saying by local media. 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.

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