Eight feared dead after two buildings collapse in France

Authorities fear more people may be trapped under the rubble

Image Authorities fear more people may be trapped under the rubble

A fifth body, that of a man, has been found this morning in the rubble of buildings that collapsed two days earlier in the center of Marseille.

So far, the bodies of four men and two women have been found, Reuters reports. In total, according to the authorities, 5 to 8 people might have been buried under the rubble.

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.

One of the fallen buildings was boarded-up, but possibly used by squatters, CNN reported.

Two buildings, standing five and six storeys, collapsed on Monday morning in Marseille.

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

"The most important is saving lives", Castaner said at the scene.

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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.

Sophie Dorbeaux meanwhile told AFP she had left the block on Sunday night to stay with her parents because her door, like several others, was not opening or closing properly because of the building's structural problems.

"It could have been me", the 25-year-old philosophy student said, visibly shaken.

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

There are between five to eight people missing, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said late Monday, with authorities trying to trace five residents and three other people who had been invited to the buildings. A 2015 report by the government found that 100,000 residents of Marseille "were living in housing that was risky to their health or security", according to AFP.

"It's unthinkable that such things happen in our time", said Christian Gouverneur, who owns a flat in an apartment block opposite the collapsed buildings.

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