France: Four bodies found after building collapse in Marseille

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MARSEILLE (AP) Two bodies were found in the rubble after an explosion that collapsed a building in the southern French city of Marseille on Monday, bringing the confirmed death toll to four. 

Two more of his bodies were found overnight. Law enforcement will continue to identify victims, the firefighter said in a statement.

Urban and Housing Minister Olivier Klein told reporters that at least four people had died after meeting rescuers at the scene.

“There is still hope of finding survivors,” Urban and Housing Minister Olivier Klein told reporters. “It’s very hard work by firefighters,” he added, noting the danger of nearby buildings collapsing. More than 100 firefighters were mobilized for the search.

Marseille Mayor Benoît Payan tweeted on Monday that “the pain and grief is great”. He shared his thoughts with the victims’ families and the “sufferers”.

“Rescue and search operations continue uninterrupted,” he said.

An investigation into bodily harm due to negligence was launched, at least initially, while avoiding the possibility of criminal intent. Prosecutor Dominic Lawrence said Sunday night that the gas explosion was part of an investigation. The collapse occurred just before 1am on Sunday in an old district in the center of Marseille, France’s second-largest city, less than a kilometer from the famous Old Port. About 200 people have been evacuated from their homes in the area.

In 2018, two of his buildings collapsed in central Marseille, killing eight people. The interior minister said the buildings were poorly maintained and that was not the case with the buildings that collapsed on Sunday.