An apartment building in Marseille, France, collapsed on Saturday night after a suspected gas explosion. There is no clarity yet on any fatalities, but eight people were still missing on Sunday evening. It is feared that they are under the rubble.
The four-storey apartment building collapsed at about 12:40 am on Saturday night after an explosion believed to have been caused by a gas leak. Initially, there was talk of four people who were “definitely still in the building”, but the French court has it in an update on Sunday evening about eight residents who did not report themselves, and who may therefore be under the rubble.
It concerns two people in their thirties – a couple – and six elderly people. “We have a situation with eight people who do not answer calls,” said prosecutor Dominique Laurens. “We don’t have any news.” At least five people were slightly injured in the explosion and collapse, one sixth person was taken to hospital with shock symptoms.
179 people evacuated
The intervention of the emergency services was still ongoing on Sunday evening. A fire is also raging in the rubble, complicating the rescue operation. After the explosion, 32 buildings in the wide vicinity of the collapsed apartment building were also evacuated, 179 people had to leave their homes.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter that he was saddened by the disaster. “I think of the affected people and their loved ones,” it says. The head of state also thanked the emergency services for their efforts.