Up to eight feared dead in Marseille apartment building collapse

Two buildings collapsed suddenly not far from Marseille city centre

Prosecutors said the bodies of two men and a woman were found separately under the 15-metre 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.

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

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

He added he had seen two other people arriving to visit one of the tenants in the building, which had 12 apartments, nine of them occupied.

The body of a fifth victim has been found in the rubble of two dilapidated buildings that collapsed this week in the French city of Marseille, the fire brigade said on Wednesday (Nov 7). Images taken before the collapse show large cracks in the facade of number 63; a former resident, retired college lecturer Mark Mason, told the Guardian he had been forced to sell his flat in the building to the council in 2012 under a compulsory purchase order after the first storey floor collapsed and chunks of masonry began falling from the building.

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"It's been 10 years that I have been living here and I have never had anyone come and inspect my apartment", said a woman who identified herself as Sophie.

A young waiter watched the scene with tears in his eyes, anxious for news of an Italian woman who lived in the building. Several are still missing.

"I haven't had any news", he said, wandering among the rescuers.

Marseille city authorities, which have evacuated and rehoused 100 residents from nearby buildings as a precaution, believe heavy rain may have led to the buildings collapsing. However, according to neighbors, it is at the time of the tragedy could be people, particularly the homeless.

Marseille authorities launched 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.

But a 2015 government report said some 100,000 Marseille residents were living in housing that was unsafe to their health or security.

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