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Anger in France as six killed in Marseille building collapse
08 November 2018, 11:17 | Erica Roy
Firefighters work at the scene where a building collapsed In Marseille on Monday
Claude Paris Claude Paris
Two buildings containing apartments at numbers 63 and 65 Rue de l'Aubagne suddenly collapsed in the rundown Noailles district of the Mediterranean port on Monday morning.
A Marseille fire brigade spokesman told CNN the cause of the collapse of the five-and six story buildings is not yet known.
The first building collapsed Monday morning and an adjacent building came down eight hours later.
"The searchers have found some survival pockets so there is perhaps hope there may be people still alive", French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said, according to The Guardian. The others were so dilapidated they had been condemned and were boarded up, though locals said they were frequently used by squatters.
Google Maps images taken in recent months showed the two collapsed buildings had large visible cracks in their facades.
A young bar waiter, with tears in his eyes, watched the scene and anxious about an Italian woman who lived in the building.
"It could have been me", the 25-year-old philosophy student said, visibly shaken.
Sophie Dorbeaux meanwhile told AFP she had left the now-demolished block on Sunday night to stay with her parents because her door, like several others, was not opening or closing properly.
Rescue work has been hampered by heavy rain, and evidence suggests the collapse has destabilised neighbouring buildings. "It could have been me", she said.
Fire officials deliberately brought down most of a third building due to apprehensions the unsteady structure might cave on top of search crews and sniffer dogs combing the rubble of the other buildings.
The neighbourhood struck by the disaster is home to many buildings in a similarly dilapidated condition, some of them run by slum landlords.
Marseille authorities launched a vast upgrade plan for the city centre in 2011.
Djaffar Nour, who was shopping down the street, said the collapse had happened in "a matter of seconds".
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