Fifth body found under collapsed buildings in French city of Marseille

Two buildings collapsed suddenly not far from Marseille city centre

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

The discovery of a fifth victim at dawn on Wednesday came as angry local people accused Marseille officials of leaving the city's poorer residents living in unsafe housing.

Castaner told lawmakers in Paris on Tuesday that he had ordered a building-by-building audit before an "ambitious programme for ensuring safe conditions" along with Marseille authorities.

The collapse has provoked soul-searching and criticism about the parlous state of some housing in Marseille, France's second-largest city. Firefighters are continuing to search for survivors and hope air pockets will keep them alive as they dig. An adjoining third building, number 67, sustained damage and was torn down for fear it would collapse, as well.

As the investigation continues into the cause of the incident, it's been confirmed that only one of the buildings was inhabited with nine of the ten apartments being occupied. Local residents said the building was old and dilapidated, which might have been a factor.

Marseille city authorities, who have evacuated and rehoused 100 residents from nearby buildings as a precaution, believe heavy rain may have contributed to the buildings' collapsing.

Local media reports said at least two passers-by were injured in the accident. "People died for nothing even though we knew", he added.

Nacer Sellani, the manager of a shop across the street, said: "There was a Comorian lady - every morning she took her two children to school and she got back just before the explosion". It was a dilapidated building but there were owners and tenants there.

According 2015, about 100 thousand inhabitants of Marseille, live in housing that threatens their health or safety.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said five to eight people were missing - five residents and three others who may have been visiting in one of the buildings.



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