Three found dead in collapsed buildings in Marseille, search goes on


A sixth body was found Wednesday in the wreckage of two dilapidated buildings that collapsed in the French city of Marseille, where furious residents have accused authorities of ignoring warnings about the state of housing for the poorest.

The buildings - one condemned and apparently vacant, the other containing apartments - collapsed at about 9am on Monday.

Emergency workers are continuing to sift through the ruins for another three people who are still believed to be missing since the two buildings crumbled suddenly on Monday morning.

Four victims, two women and two men, were recovered from the rubble on Tuesday.

A completely flattened auto was dug out as rescuers worked to shift the rubble, an indication of the force with which the building came crashing down in what witnesses said was a matter of seconds. "People died for nothing even though we knew", he added.

"There's not much chance that we'll find pockets where anyone might have survived", Castaner said on Monday evening.

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"It's been 10 years that I've been living here and I've never had anyone come and inspect my apartment", another local resident called Sophie told AFP.

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

"I haven't had any news", he said, wandering among the rescuers. According to AP, one of the houses were five-storied, the other had six floors.

He said that the chance of finding survivors was diminishing the longer the search continued, especially as the controlled collapse of a third building - which had been weakened by the initial disaster - had laid more rubble over the site.

But the incident - rare in a major Western city - has already sparked a political row over the quality of housing available to Marseille's poorest residents.

The buildings were in a small shopping street in the centre of the city. In 2011 the local authorities began a plan to renovate the city centre, but a 2015 government report suggested that 100,000 Marseille residents were living in housing risky to their health or security.