Up to eight feared dead in Marseille building collapse

Two buildings collapsed suddenly not far from Marseille city centre

A man's body was recovered from the rubble after the bodies of another man and a woman were found earlier in the day, a spokesman for the Marseille Firefighters told The Associated Press.

One of the buildings was in disrepair, its inhabitants were evicted. The building had been the subject of an appraisal and work in October.

Residents said Tuesday the structural risks of the buildings and others like them were widely known, but that city officials did little when alerted about them.

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

The news service reports that nine of that building's 10 units were occupied, with a shop filling the lower level.

In Marseille under the rubble of destroyed houses found the body of a second victim who was a woman.

The first victim - a man - was pulled from the wreckage Tuesday, prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux said, adding that he needed to be identified. He said it was believed that eight people - five residents and three visitors - were in number 65 when it collapsed.

Google Maps images taken in recent months showed the collapsed buildings had large visible cracks in their facades.

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The two other apartment blocks, which were in such a bad state that they had been condemned, were boarded up and in theory unoccupied.

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

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

Sophie Dorbeaux, a 25-year-old philosophy student, was one of them.

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

The buildings were in a small shopping street in the centre of the city.

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

Authorities said the vacant building had been deemed substandard.

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